What do circadian clocks have to do with sporting events? Speaking this week at the SLEEP 2008 conference, researchers presented the results of a study into the impact of travel and time zone changes on Major League Baseball teams. The researchers looked at the outcome of over five thousand games, taking into effect the direction of travel for each team, in addition to how long the team had to become synchronized with the new time zone. The researchers found that when one team had a 'circadian advantage' over another due to one team being out of sync with their regular time zone, the team more in sync with their body clocks was slightly more likely to win the competition. The bigger the circadian advantage was, the larger the competitive edge. In this segment, we'll talk about how playing across different time zones might affect the outcome of sports events, and what steps players might take to reduce the effect of their circadian clocks on the game.
Produced by Annette Heist, Senior Producer