Jet lag or desynchronosis is caused by the body’s internal body clock being out of step with external cues. This results in a number of symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, constipation (or diarrhoea), dehydration and increased susceptibility to illness.
Flying east to west is more troublesome and takes longer to adapt.
Research evidence provided by Schwartz et al (1995) supports this theory. They studied the results of baseball games involving teams on the west and east coasts ofAmerica. The time difference here is three hours. They found that east coast teams travelling to play away games on the west coast won significantly more games that west coast teams travelling to the east.
A bit of biology:
Research suggests we have two distinct time keeping centres in the brain, one sticks to the body’s internal clock and the other is influenced more by external cues such a levels of light. Normally these two centres are synchronised but during jet lag desynchronisation occurs. Dr Horacio de la Iglesia (2004) exposed rats to artificial days and nights lasting eleven hours rather than the…