Today I am travelling from LHR to KUL, the first leg of a 16000 miles trip for me.
Time difference: 7 hours
As a personal experiment aimed at beating jet-lag, I will be abstaining from food for 15 hours prior to landing in KUL.
According to a study at Harvard based on mice, in addition to our circadian rhythm which is regulated by our exposure to light, we have a second body clock that takes over when we’re hungry. By abstaining from food, this feeding clock resets the circadian rhythm at the next meal.
I’m hoping this won’t be too hard, given the quality of airline food.
And if mice are anything to go by, this might just work. Mice after all, ARE our overlords…
Update: 12th June 2011 – Hello from Kuala Lumpur where a day after landing, I’ve been wide awake since 1.30am KL time (6.30pm UK time) after going to bed at 10pm KL time (3pm UK time). Abstaining from food until landing appears to have altered my body clock but not quite by the right amount. I’m thinking that the ‘hunger’ body clock may be triggered not only by eating but also by the smell of food… because the time I naturally woke up at today corresponds to the time they served dinner on the flight yesterday, which I didn’t have but the smell definitely caught my senses as other passengers ate theirs.
It was an experiment certainly worth a try and I now also know that it’s not hard to go without food for 16 hours, specially when the only food available is airline food. In fact the hardest part was reassuring the flight attendants that I was fine. I’m guessing they didn’t want to end up with a fainted passenger.
Now, please excuse me while I go and get some coffee to fight off the rest of the jet-lag.