According to a study published in the journal Current Biology, "jetlag" means having an inconsistent sleeping pattern on weekdays and weekends. While it seems normal to catch up on lost sleep on Saturdays and Sundays, researchers say that this may make you gain more weight in the process.
After studying the sleeping habits of more than 65,000 adults, researchers found that those who had different sleeping patterns on weekdays and weekends were three times more likely to become obese than those who woke up at the same time every day whether or not they had to go to work. Aside from the weight gain, previous studies have shown that having an irregular sleep cycle may make people more vulnerable to diabetes. Night shift workers, in particular, are prone to this.
One suggestion to avoid these health problems is to follow your body clock instead of the alarm clock. According to researcher Dr. Till Roenneberg of the University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Psychology, we would all be better off adhering to our circadian cycle. This will make us less prone to fatigue and more prepared to do the work required of us during the day.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the option of doing this. In fact, for many, sleep is often the first thing to be given up during crunch time. What you can do, however, is to try your best to decrease social jetlag as much as possible and to aim for the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
(Photo by Brooke Bocast via Flickr Creative Commons)