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Individual factors influencing jetlag severity
The human circadian clock, our internal 24h-clock that governs much of our daily physiology, is not a single structure within the human body. Within every organ and every single cell daily rhythms are generated. For a functioning and healthy body as a whole, all those cellular clocks need to be in sync with each other as well as with the environment.
The extend in which the circadian clock influences basic body functions like sleep, alertness,
the ability to concentrate and a variety of gastrointestinal processes and so on is especially apparent when this synchronicity gets disturbed - for example through long-distance flights across time zones. The symptoms we experience through this kind of desynchronisation are summarised in the term jetlag.
There are huge differences in how every individual is affected by jetlag when travelling over multiple time zones. The main goal of our prospective cohort study is to identify individual factors that influence the duration and intensity of jetlag symptoms after a flight over 4 or more time zones.