Jet lag makes illness more likely

17 February 2012 08:51

Jet lag disturbs the sleep cycle and makes illness more likely, according to Yale researchers

Jet lag disturbs the sleep cycle and makes illness more likely, according to Yale researchers

Evidence has been found to suggest that you are more likely to become sick when jet-lagged.

A Yale School of Medicine study in the United States found that the circadian clock, which regulates the sleep cycle, also controls a key immune system gene that activates in the presence of bacteria and viruses.

The circadian clock is a delicately balanced genetic mechanism that regulates our sleep cycle and key metabolic changes. According to Yale University researchers it may also directly contribute to the likelihood of getting sick.

The scientists found that when levels of the Toll-like receptor 9 gene (TLR-9) were highest, the immune system response to vaccination was greatest and mice were best able to withstand infections.

Many people often say that when jet-lagged they feel more susceptible to illness and this may be the medical explanation. Travellers are advised to take out medical travel insurance when flying across several time zones to help make sure their trip doesn't get off to the worst possible start.

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