Though many enjoy the idea of traveling long distances and visiting far-off, distant, and exotic destinations either for work or pleasure, regular travelers have always dreaded the inevitability of jet-lag. Fortunately for these weary travelers, a new revolutionary pill has been developed that promises to do away with the troubles associated with flying long distances, across time-zones.
Jet-lag is essentially the confusion that our minds have to endure about day and night. Humans are rather simplistic beings that are designed to sleep at night and be wakeful during the daylight hours. Traveling for long distances continuously upsets the natural rhythm that our bodies are accustomed to, leading to jet-lag. Jet-lag leads to stress, fatigue, nausea and, in extreme cases, jet-lag may even be responsible for heart diseases and cancer.
The pill, which is currently an experimental drug created by medical researchers, manages to synchronize blood cells in the body to effectively fool us into thinking night is day and vice versa. Published in journal of the Federation of American Studies for Experimental Biology, the new pill demonstrated for the first time, the role of the hormone cortisol in controlling the circadian rhythms. The jet-lag pills have been devised by scientists at Canada’s McGill University and the country’s specialist Douglas Mental Health University.
Apart from being an effective cure for jet-lag, the pill will also be useful for people who work in the night. The pill works by manipulating the white blood cells which contain our biological clocks. This clock is controlled by a switch located deep within our brain. The cells are synchronized to control the body’s reaction to day and night. But the jet-lag pill, containing the steroid-based compound glucocorticoid, can effectively reset the settings. Speaking about the method, Dr. Nicolas Cermakian, co-author of the report, said the following.
“Animal studies have shown that our central clock (in the brain) sends signals to the clocks in our other organs. Glucocorticoids appear to play a central role in transmitting these signals. We studied the rhythmic expression of clock genes in white blood cells to see how they adjusted in response to glucocorticoids.”
Though researchers have cautioned that the pills are not yet fully ready for general use, they added that these pills for jet-lag “open the door to innovative therapies for those suffering as a result of disrupted sleep patterns.”
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