There’s a thing called social jet lag, and it could be ruining your health
Do you keep a regular sleep schedule during the week but tend to push back your bedtime on the weekend, when you’re out with friends or up late binging Netflix? We’ve all been there. But according to new research, social jet lag — delaying bedtime on the weekend and sleeping in later — can actually be really bad for your health.
The research, published recently by the academic journal Sleep, found that for every hour of social jet lag, your risk of developing heart disease goes up by 11 percent (OMG!). Plus, participants in the study suffering from social jet lag were 22 percent and 28 percent more likely, respectively, to report “good” or “fair/poor” health, rather than “excellent” health.
And social jet lag makes you grouchy! UGH!
The study’s authors looked at data from 984 participants, age 22 to 60, across racial and socioeconomic groups, and found that those with lower incomes were less likely to suffer from social jet lag, and high school graduates experienced more social jet lag than college graduates.
“These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,” the study’s lead author, Sierra B. Forbush, an undergraduate research assistant in the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said in a release.
"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."
To take full advantage of the health benefits of regular sleep, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get at least seven hours of rest per night. This can also lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol problems.
So put down that last cocktail, turn off Netflix, and go to bed! Your body will thank you.