Running From Jet Lag

Attention passengers: If you’re the type who travels for work, here’s something worth noting. It’s possible to reduce jet lag, trick your brain, and shift your body clock by following a strategic workout schedule.  

Sounds intriguing.
It is. Scholars from UCSD and Arizona State University designed an experiment to track circadian rhythms and test whether exercise could influence the body clock. 

Their method involved urine samples, melatonin levels, and treadmills. We’ll spare you the details.

So what did they find?
Participants who exercised at 7 am or between 1-4 pm advanced their body clocks.

Those who worked up a sweat between 7-10 pm set their clocks back.

If you’re skipping across the Atlantic, say from NY to London, it’s best to get in an early workout the day you fly. 

If you’re flying back west, you’re better off exercising the night before. 

If you’re flying to or from Australia, well, good luck.

Thanks a lot. Any other jet lag tips?
You know the basic stuff: avoid caffeine and alcohol, get a good sleep the night before, etc. 

Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Strategically schedule your flight. Try to land in the early evening or late afternoon. Then you don’t have to wait long until bedtime.

  • Ignore your watch and don’t do the math. Your mind sometimes plays tricks on you.

  • Seek sun. Daylight cuts melatonin production. If you’re groggy, get outside.

You can also channel the power of a solid playlist. This ought to perk you up.

WANNA GET NERDY? Read the academic report or read up on circadian rhythms