If your weekday rouse completely differs from your weekend conk outs, you may be experiencing what European researchers are calling the “social jetlag”, and it could be making you fat.
The term “social jetlag” refers to the inconsistency between your natural body clock and your “social clock”, which is both the schedule you keep to make it to work and your sleep-in habit over the weekend, be it for hibernation purposes or due to a hazardous night out the previous evening.
This is what you’re doing to your body, your mothership – you’re making it shuffle back and forth between different time zones each week as you slowly sink into a state of sleep deprivation.
“While during the workweek people get too little sleep and are woken by the alarm clock in the middle of their biological night, they sleep in on the weekends in order to fill up their tanks with the sleep they need,” said Professor Till Roenneberg, researcher for the University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Psychology in Germany.
“Most people with social jet lag are most likely to be smokers. They are more likely to drink alcohol. And people with jet lag, drink a lot of caffeine during the day,” continued Roenneberg. “It is very likely, that living against the body clock makes you even become obese.”
This notion was based on Roenneberg’s study of 65,000 adults and their sleeping habits. The greater the difference between weekend and weekday sleeping, the fatter people were. This is because people tend to eat less healthily when they are awake at a time they should be sleeping, and because they are most likely too tired to exercise, both contributes to weight gain.
Watch this video presented by Professor Till Roenneberg himself on his study, Social Jetlag and Obesity, and the three clocks that govern our lives daily, which also includes the “social clock”.
Are you experiencing social jetlag? How has sleep deprivation affected your diet and your health? Should companies and employers start implementing precautions to prevent social jetlag among employees? Share your thoughts with us to claim back your well-deserved sleep!