Never mind that I’m not flying anywhere, the Oreos are resetting my body clock.
Studies in mice have shown cAMP – a common signalling molecule – is involved in keeping the body clock “rhythms” going.
The team hope to develop drugs that target cAMP to help shift workers, frequent flyers or those with sleep disorders reset their body clocks.
But the research, published in Science, is still a long way from the clinic.
The body’s internal clock is a highly sensitive mechanism able to anticipate changes in the environment and regulate a host of body functions, from sleep patterns to metabolism and behaviour.
Disruption of these “circadian” rhythms have been shown to be linked with insomnia, depression, heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
At the beginning of the circadian day, genes are switched on which then produce proteins which in turn go on to switch off the same genes at the end of the day.
The proteins are broken down over the circadian night and the process starts all over again in the morning.
So the theoretical advice is to fast a bit on long flights to help cut back on jetlag. I’m not sure we’re ready to give up tiny bags of pretzels just to avoid a little jetlag are we?