Body clock reset button found
Drugs that rapidly tweak the body clock in order to avoid jet lag and the pains of shift work have moved a step closer after research in Japan. The team at Kyoto University has found the clock's 'reset button' inside the brain.
Their study, published in the journal Science, showed the button could be used to switch the clock to a new time zone in a single day. Experts said the team was "close to the money" in the hunt for a jet lag cure.
There are clocks throughout the body and a "master clock" in the brain, keeping the body in sync with the world around it to make people sleepy at night.
Anyone who has ever done shift work or a long-haul flight has experienced the disrupted sleep and hunger patterns of a body clock which is out of tune with the rising and setting of the sun. The clock uses light to help keep track of time, but it is naturally stubborn and adjusts slowly.
The rough rule is that for every time zone crossed it takes a full day for the body to catch up. Fly from London to Beijing and it would take a week for the body clock to fully adapt.