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J Biol Rhythms. 2005 Aug;20(4):353-65.

How to trick mother nature into letting you fly around or stay up all night.

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  • 1Biological Rhythms Research Laboratory, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Night shift work and rapid transmeridian travel result in a misalignment between circadian rhythms and the new times for sleep, wake, and work, which has health and safety implications for both the individual involved and the general public. Entrainment to the new sleep/wake schedule requires circadian rhythms to be phase-shifted, but this is often slow or impeded. The authors show superimposed light and melatonin PRCs to explain how to appropriately time these zeitgebers to promote circadian adaptation. They review studies in which bright light and melatonin were administered to try to counteract jet lag or to produce circadian adaptation to night work. They demonstrate how jet lag could be prevented entirely if rhythms are shifted before the flight using their preflight plan and discuss the combination of interventions that they now recommend for night shift workers.

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