Weekend "Social Jet Lag" Is Bad For Our Health

Toni Houston
June 7, 2017

"I've slept like crap this week - but I'll sleep in a bit this weekend to make up for it, and I'll be fine".

While the American Academy of Sleep Medicine firmly recommends that adults should sleep seven-plus hours a night, the issue of when one should sleep is not as empirically established.

"These results indicate regularity of sleep, beyond sleep duration, plays a vital role in our health", said Sierra B. Forbush, the study's lead author.

According to researchers from the University of Arizona in the USA, social jet lag has emerged as an important circadian marker for health outcomes.

Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour.

Forbush is an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Arizona in Tucson in the Sleep and Health Research Program.

She said: "It may be an effective, relatively simple, and cheap preventative treatment for heart disease and many other health problems".

This isn't the first study linking social jetlag to poorer health.


Previous studies have suggested that social jet lag may have negative health consequences. According to researchers then, those who suffered from this jet lag were more likely to smoke, consume larger amounts of coffee and alcohol, and were more depressed, Refinery 29 reports. It's similar to what happens with traditional jet lag from traveling, but social jet lag often occurs more consistently.

They utilized data from the community-based Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study, analyzing survey responses from 984 adults between the ages of 22 and 60 years.

In case you are going to bed late on weekends and as a result waking up late, it could be a matter of concern.

Sleep timing questionnaire was used to assess social jet lag and in order to calculate It weekday was subtracted from weeksend sleep midpoint.

Overall health was self-reported using a standardised scale, and survey questions also assessed sleep duration, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and sleepiness.

Her findings come from a study involving almost 1,000 adults aged from 22 to 60.

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.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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