back to article Nobel Prize for boffins who figured out why you feel like crap after long-haul flights

Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbach and Michael Young have won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm". Those who travel the world will recall the uncomfortable feeling of adjusting their internal clocks to a new time zone. These so-called …

  1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    It's the same for fruit flies

    What counts as a long haul flight for fruit flies? Across the kitchen? From one fruit tree to the next?

    Enquiring minds etc ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the same for fruit flies

      A trip to the big apple of course.

      Waka! Waka!

      1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        Re: Waka! Waka!

        someone's been watching WAY too much of The Muppet Show...

        Not particularly a BAD thing, mind, except for the occasional tendency toward really bad Fozzy Bear jokes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Waka! Waka!

          My jokes are bad, sometimes really bad so I thought I would tag them so people don't have to read the comment and just see the Fozzy Bear reference and think "oh for love of dog, it's that clown again"

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Even Fozzie got his revenge.

        2. FozzyBear Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Waka! Waka!

          Hey

          I resemble that remark

        3. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Waka! Waka!

          someone's been watching WAY too much of The Muppet Show...

          duh! Category error.

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: It's the same for fruit flies

      I think only a fruit fly can comfortably fit in the tight coach seats now found on airlines.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

    This has been running for a while.

    1. garetht t

      Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

      So Bez from the Happy Mondays never gets jetlag?

    2. DagD

      Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

      sleep walking, of course =P

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

      As someone speaking from the experience of such things, drugs only go so far (amphetamines)

      After being awake for days the only things that gets you through is dawn and surprisingly dusk, It doesn't help with the hallucinations though.

      In my very misspent youth I managed 12 days awake though by the end of it I had the reasoning skills of a salmon in front of a sushi chef. I'm glad I left that all behind (had to think about this) nearly 21 years ago.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

        In my very misspent youth I managed 12 days awake

        I think I'd be post-chef sushi after about 3. As well as out of my mind on migraine medication (quickest way for me to migraine-hell is not get enough sleep for two nights..)

        Mind you, I'm old and crumbly. Or at least, it feels like it some days.

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

      I know a totally blind kid, who's on melatonin. He's got no eyes, so no light perception at all to cue the body to regulate the hormone system.

      He'll get tired and go to sleep like the rest of us. But after an hour just wakes up, if he doesn't remember to dose himself up before sleeping. Even with drugs I don't think he ever gets a full night's kip. So I guess he's permanently jet-lagged.

      I wonder if this happens differently with people born totally blind? Or whether the brain adapts as they learn a sleep cycle as babies? The term visual impairment is preferred, because most "blind" people have at least some limited vision, or at least light perception.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: It's a start, but how to mitigate the effects? Bright lights, drugs etc

      Drugs. It's *always* drugs..

      (Better living through chemicals. Yay!)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The warnings are stark for...

    Shift workers / anyone breaking their body clocks staying up all night coding.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The warnings are stark for...

      Stay up all night for a long time - years - then daytime is all wrong.

      I generally work all night and get very disorientated when I have to get up during the day. There are quite a lot of us night owls in the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'I generally work all night '

        Same boat... Pretty much a zombie up to noon, and really don't get productive til afternoon. Having to work normal office hours has been a death sentence. You wonder too if this disadvantages you long-term health-wise... Can't be changed though... Too late now!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If you're a natural night owl though...

          Does that insulate you from the dangers... i.e. Are shift worker risks associated with early morning people mainly, or both groups???

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The warnings are stark for...

      Too true. In my yoof I used to stay up most of the weekend and school holiday nights ( being a teacher) teaching myself to write code for the BBC Micro/Acorn Electron. But it made me pretty rubbish at the day job. Even when I restricted myself to just doing this in the holidays it took me too long to readjust. I had to choose which was going to be the profession and which the hobby. I often wonder if I should have stuck with writing useful software - some of the things I did definitely were. Even more so now when I see the (cr)apps that are sold for phones.

  4. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    Life is fun, and then bzzt.

  5. Keef

    I'm a shift worker and used to be a frequent long haul flyer...

    And I can say that I manage the shift work quite well.

    Difficult, but manageable.

    Managing the 'free' G&Ts in the business lounge was much more difficult.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm a shift worker and used to be a frequent long haul flyer...

      Same situation. But will it have long term health consequences that aren't at all obvious today, that's the million dollar question...

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    ..why you feel like crap after long-hail flights

    Thanks.

    Now all I want to know is why I feel like crap most of the rest of the time.

    1. mr.K

      Re: ..why you feel like crap after long-hail flights

      Oh, that's just life. Good news is that it will pass.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: ..why you feel like crap after long-hail flights

      Now all I want to know is why I feel like crap most of the rest of the time.

      It's called life. One day I might get one..

  7. A K Stiles
    Pint

    long haul flight planning

    When I've been on long haul flights between the UK and Australia my plan was to figure out what time of day I was going to land and try to plan some sort of sleep on the 'planes around that - e.g. landing early morning, so try to stay awake for the first 14 hours or so, then sleep as much of the last stretch as possible, then stay awake for as long as possible to 'force' the switch. It may have helped that when I arrived I went straight onto the bucks do (10am Saturday) and drank my way through to midnight before finding a corner to fall asleep. Briefly awake when the other lads all rocked in to the apartment around 4am, then asleep again until around 10am. Felt a bit meh the next day, but I had the chance to put that down to the beer! Don't plan to do that sort of trip for anything less than 3 weeks next time though!

  8. HamsterNet

    Pah

    I fly globally every few months. Never had Jetlag, When you get on a plane set your watch to the time of your destination and behave like it. So I go to sleep on the plane (usually sometime early afternoon UK time) get up when you land and get to work. Don't go to sleep till bedtime (in the country where you are, not your home one) and your golden.

    Having young children isnt much difference from sleeping in Eco longhall.

    1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      Re: Pah

      Aeroflot, back in the day, kept their pilots on the Cuba run, on Moscow time to alleviate this issue

      as for me, worked in Brazil many years back, month on month off - going there, we landed, got to the workplace and started to work, heading back, that used to kill me, was a mess for a couple of days after I got home, never figured out how to sort it :o(

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