(Credit:iStockPhoto) (CBS News) Do you battle with your alarm clock come Monday morning.
You may have what researchers are calling “social jet lag” and according to a new study, lots of us have it and it may be fueling the obesity epidemic.
These are all symptoms of either, a) any given Sunday, or b) jet lag.
Sleeping longer may counter effects of “obesity genes”41 million American workers don’t get enough sleep, CDC saysStudy confirms not enough sleep raises diabetes, obesity risks According to the study, published online in the May 10 issue of Current Biology, social jet lag is a syndrome caused by the mismatch between the body’s biological clock and our actual sleep schedules.
Dr Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology (the study of biological rhythm cycles) at the University of Munich, explains that each of us has a biological clock, but they’re not the type we can set like watches.
That knocked out of whack the body’s “circadian rhythm,” a master biological clock that regulates such patterns as when we become sleepy and how body temperature rises and falls.
Our clocks are “entrained” by daytime and nighttime and provide the optimal window for when people should sleep.
But in modern society, he says, people listen to their internal clocks “less and less due to the increasing discrepancy between what the body clock tells us and what the boss tells us.”.
He told WebMD that he estimates two thirds of the population experiences social jet lag.
However, on top of keeping jet lag on a leash, it could make a brilliant preparation technique for the likes of Australians preparing to wake up at 4 a.m.
He coined the term because switching sleep schedules is similar to switching time zones.
“The behavior looks like if most people on a Friday evening fly from Paris to New York or Los Angeles to Tokyo and on Monday they fly back,” Roenneberg told WebMD.
“Since this looks like almost a travel jet lag situation, we called it social jet lag.”.
The effect that jet lag has on a person varies greatly for each individual, making it difficult to provide a single remedy to overcome the problem.
The German team have spent ten years monitoring people’s sleeping and waking behaviour with their height, weight and age and will eventually produce a “world sleep map”, the journal Cell Press reports.
So here is a combination of our personally suggested ways to manage the onset of jet lag, as well as some other interesting strategies we have found.
For every hour of social jet lag, the risk of being obese or overweight rose by 33 percent.
What’s more, people who chronically experience social jet lag are more likely to engage in unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol and caffeine, or smoking.
The researchers say their findings should impact Daylight Savings Time and when work and school starts.
They recommend people spend more time outdoors in daylight or sit by a window, or else their body clock keeps getting set later and later, keeping them up and making them tired the next day.
“Waking up with an alarm clock is a relatively new facet of our lives,” Roenneberg said in a news release.
Good sleep and enough sleep is not a waste of time but a guarantee for better work performance and more fun with friends and family during off work times.
Previous studies have shown people who are shift workers, such as transportation workers, are at a higher risk for obesity and diabetes because of their varying sleep schedules that constantly throw off their bodies’ internal clocks.
There’s growing evidence that people who regularly sleep too little and at the wrong time suffer long lasting consequences that a nap won’t cure: An increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
“We’ve known for a while that shift workers are associated with increased health risks, and shift workers have extreme variability in their sleep timing between workdays and non workdays,” Dr Kristen Knutson, a sleep researcher at the University of Chicago in Illinois who was not involved with the new study, told Science Magazine.
Still another concern: The World Health Organization has classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen, because too much light at night may hamper a hormone involved both with sleep and suppressing tumor cells.
“This paper suggests it’s not just the extreme cases of irregular bed times, but even a more modest difference between weekends and weekdays of an hour or two seems to be associated with health outcomes like obesity.”.
Temeka Berry is a business journalist based in Shanghai, China. Temeka has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Temeka spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.