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The effects of jet lagFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was conducted to find out how jet lag affects behavior patterns. The science project involved hamsters exercising on a wheel.


Hamsters do suffer from jet lag and will take time to adjust.

Scientific Terms

Body clock, jet lag, blood pressure, body temperature and hormone secretions.


Jet lag

Our daily activities follow a regular routine to a lesser or greater extent. The time that we wake up, take our meals, conduct our daily activities and even our nap times follow certain fixed patterns. Our bodies become quite accustomed to these routines which become "programmed" into our body clock.

However, when we travel to destinations located in different time zones, our bodies become unsynchronized with the new time. The natural rhythm of sleep, eating and work will be disturbed. People usually take a few days to get accustomed to a new time zone.

Some of the symptoms associated with jet lag include headaches, the inability to sleep, a lack of appetite, and even depression. This happens because our body clocks are also programmed to regulate our sleep, food digestion, blood pressure levels, body temperatures and hormone secretions.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 10 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Handle the hamsters with care, and ensure that you wear gloves.