#98 The Science of Circadian Rhythm (Part 2) and Minimising the Effects of Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue – Dr Tom Buckley & Jon Clarke

Understanding circadian rhythm, which is controlled by a pea-shaped organ inside the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, helps navigate travel for work and play.  Plane travel that crosses 3 or more time zones causes jet lag, or a feeling of being out of whack with your internal body clock. Generic travel fatigue is distinct from jet lag and is associated with tiredness and fatigue after domestic travel. 

Dr Tom Buckley is Associate Professor at Sydney University and is a leading expert on stress and recovery. He has written and contributed to over 110 peer reviewed academic journals, and is the co-author of the best-selling book, MatchFit, which has sold over 100,000 copies.

Jon Clark (JC) is considered one of the world’s leading athletic coaches and is the Physical Performance Manager for the Manly Sea Eagles, he previously worked for the English rugby union team and the Wallabies. Jon played a total of 359 Super League games and represented Great Britain in rugby league.

In this episode Andrew, Dr Tom and JC discuss:

1:55 How Dr Tom adapted his circadian rhythm for a recent trip to Las Vegas.

2:45 Understanding circadian rhythm and why we need environmental cues to help reset it.

4:50 Why teenagers and people on holidays typically disrupt their circadian rhythm.

5:50 Andrew and Dr Tom’s first presentation together and how they literally put 2/3 of the audience to sleep.

7:25 How people lose their sense of time without environmental cues.

10:50 Andrew’s Studio 10 segment on jet lag.

17:05 Why experience is valid when helping to minimise jet lag, and how there still isn’t a lot of science around this.

21:35 Why you shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeine when flying.

25:50 The difference between travel fatigue and jet lag.

27:00 Using plane travel to down regulate and how to minimise travel fatigue.

35:20 Changing your mindset around travel to make it less stressful.

41:05 Minimising the desynchronisation from jet lag when crossing time zones.

42:50 “Flying West is best and East is a beast” and why shift workers find it hard to adapt.

48:40 Jet lag is a sleep-wake disturbance and some of Dr Tom’s tips to combat it.

53:05 Strategic use of melatonin to combat jet lag.

56:15 JC’s ‘bang for buck’ approach to combatting jet lag.

58:30 The struggle athletes face trying to recover from jet lag as quickly as possible.

59:50 Why it’s better to fly out at night and why willpower will only get you so far when combatting sleep.

1:01:40 JC’s tips for getting over jetlag at your destination.

1:05:45 Why planning your schedule is so important before you travel.

1:08:55 Embrace the travel and do something everywhere you go.

1:10:00 Andrew and Dr Tom’s summary with 4 key points before you travel, 4 points (plus 1) while traveling, and 4 points to follow on arrival

You can find JC at his LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-clarke-1152a065/