The circadian rhythm is what gives you your sleep schedule, if you have ever wondered why you stay up until 4 in the morning and do not wake up until 2 in the afternoon it is because you have conditioned your body over time to fit this schedule of yours. If you want to go to sleep earlier you have to re-condition your body into falling asleep at an earlier time and its kind of nice when you sleep from 9 or 10 P.M. and wake up at 7 A.M. However scientist are still baffled at what drives our biological mechanisms when dealing with the Circadian Rhythm however a recent study, and by recent I mean it was posted today, shows that there are many factors that deal with and affect our internal clock currently we know of three light, food, and temperature that affect the circadian rhythm of animals. The study was used to see if Oxygen was also a factor that would affect circadian rhythm and the study found that the variation of oxygen levels around mice reset their circadian rhythm thus allowing the researchers to hopefully apply this situation to Airplane’s Cabin Pressure thus stopping the affect of Jet Lag we face when we step off the plane. The reason for this is, the scientist believe is the HIF1α, the link explains what HIF1α is, is the link between oxygen and circadian rhythm as HIF1α is present in Oxygen Homeostasis and obviously throughout the body. The scientist first simply shifted the oxygen concetration twice a day that was present in a controlled enivornment with the mouse by a mere 3% and saw dramatic renewals in the mices, this allowed the mouses cells to synchronize to a circadian rhythm. With that finished they moved on to the Jet Lag Experiment.
First the mice were left to their regular schedules of sleeping, eating, and running on their wheels in a nice air-conditioned enviornment, when the oxygen levels were altered nothing serious happened regarding their circadian rhythm. Next the mice were induced to a 6-hour jump ahead in daylight hours this threw off their circadian rhythms, scientist theorized that varying the oxygen levels could help the mice adapt their daily schedules to the new time faster, basically skipping all the nasty side affects of Jet-Lag. The mice also saw a small drop in O2 levels 12 hours before the jump put the mice back on their circadian rhythm schedules faster and this was dependent on HIF1α in the mice.
Results: We see that the mice are indeed recovering faster but like Andrew has said many times just because it works for mice does not mean it will work for the Humans. So until more research is done on the topic we just do not have enough evidence to support the fact that O2 pressure may fix Jet Lag.
Conclusion: Currently Commerical Airlines have their cabins pressurized at the same level as cities who are around 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, so basically it would be like picking up Flagstaff, Arizona and flying around with it. The reason the cabins have this low-pressure is because it saves wear and tear on the airplanes and they cruise through the skies at ridiculous hieghts. However too many passengers are complaining about the air-sickness they get from flying around so Airline Companies have been trying to find ways to increase the pressure and make passengers feel comfortable. Recently Boeing released the 787 Dreamliner in which the cabin pressure was actually increased and while the passengers actually felt better while in the air, the higher pressure actually hurt their chances for a quick recovery from jet-lag.