'Social jet lag' may pose threat to health

Francis Osborne
June 7, 2017

His study shows that changing when you sleep, by even an hour, can produce a jetlag-like effect that leads to illness.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommend that adults sleep for at least 7 hours each night for "optimal health".

These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health.

Poorer health, increased sleepiness, fatigue are also the results of social jet lag.

Researcher Sierra Forbush said the rhythm of our rest was more important for our health than how long we slept.

Most worryingly, though, each hour of social jet lag experienced increases our chances of developing heart disease by 11 percent.

To evaluate whether social jet lag may cause heart diseases, the researchers led by the study's senior author Michael A. Grandner analyzed another study, which contained relevant information.

"This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple, and low-cost preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems", Forbush added. So, when you do enjoy an occasional late weekend night, Avidan suggests minimizing artificial light when you get back home.

The researchers examined the data collected for the community-based Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization study or SHADES.

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They calculated each individual's "social jet lag" by subtracting the mid-point of their weekday sleep cycle from the mid-point of their weekend sleep cycle.

Dr. Bouzis says that social jet lag isn't a term used in sleep medicine but the results of it are common.

The Arizona study, published in the journal Sleep, does not explain how they came to their conclusions. This involved over 980 adults aged between 22 to 60.

The symptoms included extra girth around the midsection and higher levels of sugars and fats in the blood.

Research results were released in an online supplement of Sleep earlier this week.

Furthermore, every hour of social jet lag was associated with a 22.1 and 28.3 percent increase in the likelihood of having just "good" or "fair/poor" health, respectively, compared with "excellent" health.

What Is Weekend Social Jet Lag?

'We had already known from various epidemiological and experimental studies that metabolism - and especially glucose/insulin metabolism - is challenged by living against one's clock, ' he said.

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