Before we start, I wanted to call this post ‘Jet Slag’ but I thought it might not translate so well across the pond. Slag is a nasty term but also can be used to great comedic effect here, if said with a cockney accent like this “you slaaaagg!”.
The title, however, is meant to refer to my current status as a freak of female nature due to jet lag. In short, I look like hell and only have half a brain. I haven’t brushed my hair in two days, have zits in places I didn’t know I had places, and frankly could pass for a member of the cast of Macbeth, were it set in Gatwick Airport. I’ve been complaining about the inability to reset my body clock, and the generally ugly feeling in my mind, since I returned from TAM6, Las Vegas, on Wednesday, but it wasn’t til today that I thought to stop and ask “what the hell is jet lag anyway?”. My highly scientific findings after the jump.
Wiki says it’s a ‘physiological condition which is a consequence of alterations to circadian rhythms’ which makes you ill (not to be confused with syncopated rhythms, which merely make you groovy). Symptoms include insomnia, depression, loss of appetite, and nausea. The science is quite interesting. For example, did you know women of reproductive age are more susceptible to jet lag than men?
And that Viagra has been shown to be effective in treating jet lag…in hamsters?
All this from one Wiki entry. Once you’ve chewed over these and other thrilling questions, you will probably return to the place I’m at now, which is somewhere between “circadian rhythms” and “buh?”. Or maybe it’s just me. Either way, here’s an explanation:
“A circadian rhythm is an approximate daily periodicity, a roughly-24-hour cycle in the biochemical, physiological or behavioral processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria.”
Well cover me in garlic mayo and call me a po boy, I had no idea that everything was on the same cycle. That’s possibly because I skipped all biology lessons. Let’s gloss over that, I’m learnin’ now. So…as the circadian rhythm can be entrained by external cues, does that mean we can screw with stuff? What happens if we put fungi on a flight to Delhi? Mushrooms with jet lag is the funniest idea ever. Funnier, even, than trying to write a serious Skepchick post whilst suffering from all the symptoms…