The feeling of unease caused by called jet lag or change in sleep schedules can be avoided with an adjustment of the food cycle, suggests a study at Harvard University, in the United States.
The researchers claim to have identified a second body clock linked to food-and not the hour or in daylight.
In the study, done with mice, the scientists found that when the power supply was restricted, the animals were up to get food.
The research, published in the journal Science, concluded that alternating shifts workers and travelers could fight the jet lag avoiding food to delay sleep.
The clock food, identified by scientists, would be influenced by the need for food, unlike the basic biological clock, known as circadian cycle, influenced by sunlight and regulating, for example, metabolism, sleep and waking state.
When this circadian cycle is affected by lack of sleep or differences in timetables, can cause insomnia, depression, heart disease and other neurodegenerativos disorders.
However, fasting, or the amendment of the schedule of feeding, awoke the other clock, capable of overcoming the difficulties of the body caused by the difference in sunlight and during the hours of sleep and replace the circadian cycle-regulated by light-food cycle, namely – the one that controls the body’s need to feed.
According to Clifford Saper, author of the study, people who work in night shifts or suffering time zone differences, can use this clock feed to adapt to differences in hours that leave them with impaired sensation.
“For example, if a person travels the United States to Japan are forced to adjust to a difference of 11 hours of the spindle,” he explains. “However, the biological clock can only adapt to a gradual difference every day and the person would take, on average, a week to adjust to the new time zone and normally would be time to go home,” he said.
“A period of fasting of approximately 16 hours would be enough to replace the biological clocks. In this case, simply do not eat during the flight and feeding soon on arrival to avoid the uncomfortable sensations of jet-lag, “explains Saper.
To assess the relationship between the two biological clocks, the Harvard team did experience with mice who had the gene, Bmal1 deficit related to the biological clock.
By injecting this gene in different areas of the brains of mice, scientists were able to observe that the area of the food watch linked would be located in the hypothalamus, known as dorsal-medial nucleus.
After analyzing the behavior of mice, scientists reported that one cycle without food can override the circadian cycle basics for the watch feed, leaving the animals awake until they had the opportunity to eat.
According to the sleep specialist of Norwich University Hospital, Neil Stanley, the discovery has the potential to benefit travellers and those that need to adapt to shifts common hours.
“The discovery will never make the symptoms disappear completely, but it can certainly help relieve them,” he said.
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