'Social jet lag' may pose threat to health

Posted June 07, 2017

According to Sleep Review, 85% of people sleep and wake up later on the weekends or their days off.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine staff says that adults should be sleeping at least 7 hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.

Lead author Sierra B Forbush, research assistant from the University of Arizona in the United States, suggests that these results show that irregular sleeping pattern, beyond sleep duration alone, can effect once health too.

The study revealed associations between social jet lag and worse mood, sleepiness, and fatigue, as well as poorer overall health.

After a busy work week, many people look forward to the weekend for the chance to sleep in.

The study has found that social jet lag increases the risk of heart diseases by about 11 percent and also leads to poor health, fatigue, sleepiness and mood swings.

She adds, "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 is an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Arizona in Tucson in the Sleep and Health Research Program.

Weekend social jet lag is basically the disagreement between our body and our will. 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. Thus, with no rush to rise early the next day, most people go to bed late on Fridays and Saturdays and wake up late the next day.

A team from the University of Pittsburgh studied a group of adults aged 30 to 54 years.

Dr. Grandner and colleagues evaluated social jet lag using the Sleep Timing Questionnaire, and they calculated it by subtracting the weekday sleep midpoint from the weekend one. These effects are independent of the duration of the sleep and insomnia symptoms, which are associated with both social jet lag and health.

A team of scientists chose to analyze the effects of the so-called "social jet lag" or what is more commonly known as sleeping in on weekends.

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.