"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A hearty breakfast can relieve jet lag symptoms: study

September 15, 2023 – Our internal clock, our circadian rhythm, keeps us feeling awake through the day and drained at night. But traveling, shift work, caring for a newborn, or anything that disrupts your sleep schedule can throw this delicate system out of whack.

In the short term, this may result in fatigue, insomnia or an upset stomach. But the evidence suggests that the consequences could also be more severe over time and Health risks reminiscent of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depressionand cancer.

Experts often recommend exposure to light to mitigate the consequences, but research has shown that meal timing could also be just as essential. study published this month chaos suggests that the important thing to success could also be eating a big meal early within the morning.

“Both our study and experimental results suggest that the [light and feeding] “Coordinating mood signals – such as avoiding eating at night – is beneficial,” said the lead study creator Yitong HuangPhD, researcher within the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University.

What the researchers did

Much of the research on circadian rhythms has focused on the “central” internal clock, situated in an element of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The central clock responds to sunlight. But research over the past 20 years has shown that the circadian system includes not only one internal clock, but many. These clocks, present in nearly every cell and tissue, calibrate to different signals, Huang said. Many organs are reset by meals.

The researchers developed a theoretical mathematical model that allowed them to take a brand new approach: they investigated how these clocks interact not only with external stimuli but additionally with one another.

“Our study looks at two clock populations,” Huang said – one which responds to light (the brain) and one other that responds to food (the liver).

In the study, researchers conducted simulations of a traveler traveling from New York to Paris (6 hours time difference).

  • Since meal times weren't adjusted to the brand new time zone, it took 9 days to get better from jet lag.
  • By eating three meals through the light hours, the recovery time could possibly be shortened to 6 days.
  • By doubling breakfast and skipping dinner through the first three days, recovery was further accelerated, to 5 days.

The researchers concluded that a big meal early within the morning helps to realign the interior clock and thus counteract the consequences of jet lag.

“Eating in the evening activates the liver clock at a time when the [brain] The clock wants to rest,” the researchers write within the study.

Arguments for an enormous breakfast

The results are based on increasing evidence that it is sweet for us to eat more within the morning than within the evening. In addition to activating our internal clock, it could possibly help Lower your body weight and improve blood sugar, Research shows.

psychiatrist Alex DimitriuMD, founding father of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, CA, who was not involved within the study, points to previous research on mice.

“Mice are normally nocturnal animals and some studies have found that they switch to wakefulness during the day when food is available,” said Dimitriu. “In mice, foraging behavior leads to wakefulness and this recent study suggests that the same may be true for humans.”

This can be in step with the recommendation of sleep experts to avoid large meals before bedtime, says Dimitriu, who has found that his patients sleep best after they eat little after sunset and have a standard breakfast.

How big should breakfast actually be? More research must be done to link the study's model to specific calorie numbers for humans, Huang said. But you may take a look at it in relative terms: You should simply pre-distribute your each day calorie intake so that you simply eat more calories firstly of the day and fewer within the evening.

The researchers plan to conduct further experiments with their mathematical model. Ultimately, the predictions may lead to latest interventions and even an app that recommends optimal meal times, Huang said.

“Because meal plans are often easier to adapt,” Huang said, “we believe this model paves the way for more individualized intervention strategies.”