Research conducted at Rutgers University and supported by Colorado State University suggests that the practice of drinking alcohol to get over jet lag is detrimental to health. The research singles out shift workers whose body clocks are at odds with circadian rhythms due to their work patterns. Frequent fliers, pilots and flight attendants may also be included in this group as they also have to cope with circadian rhythm disruption caused by flying.
Dipak K. Sarkar professor of Animal Sciences at Rutgers Cook College and director of the endocrinology and biomedical division at the Center of Alcohol Studies, says that alcohol can alter the body’s rhythmicity, this is the body’s ability to keep its rhythm. Rhythmicity is mediated through the circadian rhythms of the body which are in turn controlled by the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN) in the brain. Furthermore the professor points out the far-reaching effects the circadian rhythms have. Circadian rhythms handle more than 100 unique functions of the human physiology ranging from body temperature to hormone levels to immune response to pain threshold and many more.