Friday, April 4, 2008

The trouble with time travel

The trouble with time travel

Every frequent flier seems to have his own strategy or treatment for the fatigue and insomnia of jet lag. It's time to separate the scientifically proven from the homespun
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

April 2, 2008 at 10:43 AM EDT
Maybe all you need to get over it is a little blue pill.

If a study published last spring is to be believed, the makers of Viagra may soon be promoting the use of their erectile-dysfunction drug aboard long-distance flights - though not for the reason some randy-minded aspirants to the mile high club might think. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May, researchers at the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires discovered that the diamond-shaped pill might be useful in treating jet lag - at least in hamsters.

Even athletes have to develop their own ways of overcoming jet lag, which can really put a visiting competitor at a disadvantage.

"Jet lag is definitely a factor," says Joel Filliol, the senior coach at Triathlon Canada's National Triathlon Centre in Victoria. The triathlon team competes in six to eight international races a year, he says, so "experience with international travel makes a big difference with how easily you adapt to it. You have to get on to the new time zone right away. You need exposure to light at the right times of day, you need food at the right times of day and you need to get into your normal pattern again. That's really how we do it."

Some athletes, he concedes, will take melatonin to cope with jet lag."

Read the full article from the Globe and Mail

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