Jet lag is a waste of perfectly good vacation days, but a cure to all that yawning, stumbling, and sleeping through breakfast may be in the eye of the (very sleepy) beholder. As Popular Science reports, a recent study published in the Journal of Physiology could translate to a cure for jet lag that’s as easy as applying eye drops.
Researchers discovered a new group of cells in the retina that send signals about changes in light from the eye to the brain. These cells and a molecule they release (called vasopressin) help regulate the biological clock—or at least that’s what it does in rats. If you could reduce the amount of vasopressin traveling from the eye to the brain, that could help your internal clock adjust to the new time zone, theoretically doing away with jet lag. It’s something that has already worked in animals and has exciting possibilities for humans. One of the study’s authors, Mike Ludwig, a professor of neurophysiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, suggests that tweaking vasopressin output could happen via eye drops—eventually. “That is very futuristic,” he said. “We are far from that at the moment.” Until then, we’ll just use eye drops to do away with dry eyes. Skip the cat nap and read the full article on PopSci.ML