Blame Social Jetlag for Weight Gain
Putting on weight and feeling lethargic throughout the day can be attributed to social jet lag, according to German researchers. If you often snooze at your desk, it could be because your body’s biological clock is at conflict with the demands of your daily schedule. This has been termed the social jetlag syndrome which makes people lethargic, sleepy as well as obese, according to researchers at University of Munich.
The team claims that they have recognised a syndrome in contemporary society which they state is the discrepancy between the timing of the physiological clock and what they have termed as the social clock. This afflicts people with chronic sleep deprivation. Moreover, unhealthy lifestyle choices such as increased intake of caffeine and alcohol are also encouraged due to this problem. Eventually this leads to obesity which is linked to a host of other diseases. So, social jetlag has become a serious health concern.
The researchers at the University of Munich collected information on the impact of sleep deprivation on their quality of life and health. Apart from obesity, they were able to link social jetlag syndrome with:
- abnormal insulin levels and blood sugar
- increased frequency of smoking
- increased alcohol consumption
- increased caffeine intake.
The result of their studies is expected to help people get their body’s clock back in sync with their daily schedule of working and sleeping. It is important that people start to realise that our biological clock is set and it cannot be altered based on their whims. The natural phenomenon of daylight and darkness at night influence the way our bodies respond. Nowadays, people are increasingly becoming negligent of what their body tells them and pay more heed to what the boss or peers tell them.
Challenging the social jetlag has become difficult for some people, especially those whose work requires them to be awake at erratic hours. Following other tips which lessen the impact of social jetlag, such as sleeping and waking up at the same hours daily is the way out for such people.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team May 15, 2012
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