It looks like that weekend lie-in might not be as restorative as you think. According to new research, so-called 'social jetlag' isn’t just a disruptive influence upon our sleep patterns: it could also have a serious impact upon our long-term health. Time to set that iPhone alarm and re-think the snooze habit, then…
While many of us balance out a late Friday or Saturday night by spending the next morning tucked up in bed, the new study suggests that staying up longer and lying in later could leave you in a jetlagged state similar to ‘flying from Paris to New York on a Friday evening and flying back on Monday.’ The impact of this upon our sleep cycle is then felt throughout the week, making us tired, sluggish and reaching for the caffeine.
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Published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s journal, the study found that this shift could account for ‘poorer health, worse mood, increased sleepiness and fatigue.’ Even scarier is the discovery that ‘social jetlag’ was associated with an 11 percent increase in the risk of heart disease.
‘These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,’ lead author Sierra B. Forbush told EurekAlert. ‘This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems.’
Farewell, lazy Saturdays. It was nice knowing you.