Amanda Pendolino
September 02, 2013

Scientists Developing Pill to Cure Jet Lag

Getting slowed down by jet lag? A new pill may prevent it from even happening.

According to Yahoo, scientists may be just a few years away from introducing a drug that prevents your body from automatically adjusting when you enter a new timezone.

“We’ve identified a system that actively prevents the body clock from re-adjusting,” says Dr. Stuart Peirson, the study team leader and a senior research scientist at Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences. “If you think about, it makes sense to have a buffering mechanism in place to provide some stability to the clock… But it is this same buffering mechanism that slows down our ability to adjust to a new time zone and causes jet lag.”

Dr. Peirson and his team worked with lab mice to discover a molecule called SIK1, which affects our natural response to light and causes us to begin a new circadian rhythm.

Pilots, flight attendants and frequent travelers have long searched for a way to prevent the body from adjusting to new timezones – can the solution finally be here?

Chris McGinnis, a business travel expert says he’s skeptical. “I’ve heard many times that the cure for jet lag is just around the corner. People were saying it about Ambien at one time, a few years ago they had light therapy visors that people would wear.”

But he said he’d be happy if it all works out, especially since it could eliminate the need to travel early to allow for extra time before a business presentation. “There are countless hours of productive time lost to jet lag,” he says. “I experience it myself and as I get older it only seems to get worse.”

Until the jet lag pill gets introduced, you might try adjusting the time of your meals. A different study found that if you eat at the time you’ll be eating at your destination for a few days before you leave, you can trick your brain and catch up faster once you’re there.