PSYB64 - Article for Final: Jet Lag

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Janelle Leboutillier

PSYB64 – Article 1 Jet Lag • The subjective symptoms of jet lag (panel 1) are similar to travel fatigue, but there are important differences.: ◦ First, the symptoms do not disappear after a good night’s sleep ◦ Second, jet lag is noted after time-zone transitions in the laboratory, when effects caused by travelling and changes in culture and meals are absent. • Jet lag is due to the effects in the new time zone of an unadjusted body clock. ◦ This absence of rapid adjustment results in loss of sleep at night, and all the daily (circadian) rhythms that are controlled by the body clock are inappropriately phased • The severity of jet lag increases with: ◦ the number of time zones crossed, ◦ is worse for older travellers ◦ and depends on the direction of the time-zone transition ▪ flights to the east are associated with more jet lag than flights west Differences between travel fatigue and jet lag • Travel fatigue is associated with any long journey; jet lag generally needs three or more time zones to be crossed rapidly. ◦ However, there is a noticeable difference in individuals’ susceptibility to the effects of changing time; ▪ some even have difficulty in dealing with the 1h change accompanying the switch to and from daylight saving time • Travel fatigue abates by the next day, the traveller having had a good night’s sleep; jet lag after eastward flights lasts for several days roughly equal to two-thirds of the number of time zones crossed and about half the number of time zones crossed after westward flights. ◦ Again, there are obvious differences between individuals Role of the Body Clock • The effect of a zeitgeber on the body clock depends on its time of presentation; a zeitgeber can produce a phase advance, phase delay, or no phase shift • This relation between the time of presentation of the zeitgeber and the phase shift produced is called a phase-response curve • The main zeitgebers are the light-dark cycle and the rhythmic secretion of the pineal hormone melatonin (taking place during nocturnal sleep in healthy people); ◦ however, exercise exerts a much weaker effect than do other zeitgebers • The ease of getting to sleep and staying asleep depends not only on previous wake time but also on associations with the circadian rhythm of core temperature ◦ Sleep is easiest to initiate when core temperature is falling ra
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