Jet Lag Can Make You Stupid

That fuzzy feeling you get when you cross several timezones? That’s you getting dumber.

Scientists did a study where they screwed with hamsters’ rhythms by pushing forward their waking and sleeping schedule six hours every three days for almost a month. “It would be like a flight from New York to Paris every three days,” study co-author Erin Gibson told Science News.

The result was that neuron growth rate was nearly halved. Also, the hamsters had a harder time than the control group learning which chamber contained the better running wheel. And even after being returned to a normal sleep schedule, 28 days later the hamsters still had problems with learning and memory.

To fight the effects of jet lag, Consumer Reports Health recommends taking melatonin pills at bed time and to avoid caffeine and booze until your body adjusts.

Jet lag makes hamsters dumb [ScienceNews]
Repeated jet lag inhibits adult neurogenesis and produces long-term cognitive deficits in female hamsters [abstractsonline]

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