Will This Pill Cure Jet Lag?


There's a ton of advice (and gadgets) out there claiming to fix jet lag: sleeping more, sleeping less, avoiding booze and coffee, or using this weirdly intuitive app. Well, now, there's an even simpler fix: just take a pill. And no, it's not Ambien.

Scientists at McGill University and Douglas Mental Health University have created a new drug that claims to cure jet lag by fooling travelers' bodies into thinking it’s daytime at night, and nighttime during the day. The unnamed drug, made out of glucocorticoids (a type of steroid hormone), works by syncing the drug taker’s white blood cells to adjust to a different time. As the drug study explains, "Physiological changes over the course of a day are regulated by a circadian system comprised of a central clock located deep within the centre of the brain and multiple clocks located in different parts of the body." Effectively, the drug resets those body clocks. If only it could make Monday feel more like Friday.

After being tested by 16 healthy volunteers who were examined in isolation chambers, the pill was successful in adjusting their biological clocks, proving that there’s a more effective way to convince your body that it’s night time during the day. Ya know, other than just wearing an eye mask everywhere, especially since you'd just bump into tons of stuff if you can't see.

Though it isn’t ready to be sold or distributed yet, the experimental pill could be a major breakthrough for frequent fliers. And the best part of it all: you wouldn't have to give up booze or coffee!

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.