The Olympians Who Want to Be Jet-Lagged

American ski-jumpers have an unusual plan for Pyeongchang. Can it work?

But the difference between ski-jumpers and other Winter Olympians is that there might be value in not being mentally sharp. Some would rather be slightly foggy. They believe it can actually help calm their nerves.

.. their sport is far more taxing on their brains than their bodies. “The closest thing I can compare it to is golf,”

.. “Mentally, it feels like suicide,” he said. “The closer you come to committing suicide without committing suicide, the better you’re going to be.”

.. the worst thing you can do before flying into the abyss is think too much. And it’s almost impossible to think—let alone think too much—with your head in the clouds. Which is exactly the point.

.. They have been encouraged to use jet lag to their unlikely advantage by USA Nordic Sport executive director Bill Demong.

.. “My experience was that if I left the U.S. on Wednesday night and arrived in Europe on Thursday that I would have my best competition of the trip on Saturday,”

.. Most professional sports teams now attempt everything in their power to minimize their circadian disruption. The NBA even baked in an extra day of travel between Finals trips so the players will be the best versions of themselves in the biggest games of the year.

Could How You Sleep Be Linked to ADHD?

An explanation for lost sleep: Late circadian rhythms in those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may make them natural night owls

The researchers measured the sleep hormone melatonin in the saliva of 40 subjects and found that its production began 105 minutes later in the ADHD group: at 11:15 p.m., compared with 9:30 p.m. in a control group. They also found that the adults in the control group fell asleep on average two hours after melatonin production began, compared with three hours later for the ADHD group.

.. core body temperature and moving patterns associated with sleep were also delayed in people with ADHD

.. noticed large numbers of people with SAD also had ADHD. 

Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy: an intervention addressing rhythm dysregulation in bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by frequent recurrences, often related to noncompliance with drug treatment, stressful life events, and disruptions in social rhythms. Interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) was designed to directly address these problem areas. This article discusses the circadian basis of IPSRT and the importance of stable daily routines in the maintenance of the euthymic state, as well as the two large controlled trials which empirically support this intervention. The authors discuss the advantages of IPSRT as an acute intervention, as well as a prophylactic treatment for both bipolar I and II disorder. Using a case example, the authors describe how IPSRT is implemented in a clinical setting, detailing the therapeutic methods and processes involved.

A Nobel prize for medicine for the understanding of body clocks

This year, three of the prize-winners may be particularly appreciative of that, for they are some of the scientists who have helped to explain why jet lag exists in the first place.

.. Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young are, between them, responsible for working out how the endogenous clocks of fruit flies—and, by extension, of other organisms—run what is known as the circadian rhythm. This is the internal cycle (circa is the Latin for “about” and dies the Latin for “day”) that matches the body’s physiology to the alternation of light and darkness caused by Earth’s rotation. In human beings it controls, among many other things, sleep patterns.

.. Between them, studying mutated fruit flies, they put together an explanation of what is going on at a molecular level.

..Their first step, in 1984, was the isolation within the fruit-fly genome of a gene called period, which had previously been found to be important in controlling circadian rhythms

.. Dr Hall and Dr Rosbach then went on to measure the concentration in fly brains of the protein this gene encodes. They discovered that the protein’s concentration cycles predictably over the course of 24 hours, peaking at night. They also measured levels of the messenger molecule, produced by period genes, which carries the recipe for the protein to a cell’s protein-making machinery. That, too, cycles daily—peaking a few hours before concentration of the protein itself is at its highest.

.. The crucial part of the story is that the protein inhibits the action of periodgenes. The more of the protein there is, the less active the genes are. That reduces production of the messenger molecule, which reduces production of the protein, which permits the gene to reactivate. And so on.