Apparently, jet lag doesn’t just involve transcontinental flights and changing time zones– it can include your wild weekends, too.
That’s because staying up even an hour or two later during the weekend can ruin your sleep pattern (along with your mood), as “social jet lag” is admittedly self-inflicted for many of us.
And in today’s go-go-go world, social jet lag is becoming a bigger problem than ever, says Shelby Freedman Harris, YouBeauty Sleep Expert and director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center. “It isn’t necessarily a sleep disorder that we would actually diagnose someone with clinically, but it is a trend where we notice that people aren’t sticking with the same sleep-wake schedule every day,” Harris offers.
That means there’s a price to be paid when you stay out late Friday and Saturday nights and hope to sleep it off during the following day. It can disrupt your normalized body clock so much that you may find it difficult to adjust back to your “normal” sleep schedule come Sunday night– meaning you’re a grumpy, disheveled mess the next morning on your way to work.
This all occurs simply because of the fact that you’re tinkering with your body’s circadian rhythm, which is your internal body clock that you rely upon to control patterns of wakefulness and sleep (not to mention appetite). Imagine staying up past your normal bedtime as being similar to jet lag on your body following a long vacation. Essentially, your body is thrown into a different time zone when you wait until later in the evening to fall asleep during the weekend nights, Harris explains.
Once Sunday night rolls around, your internal clock finds it more difficult to readjust to your weekday sleep schedule again– which gives way to the all-too-familiar frustrating Sunday night insomnia. “You eat on a different schedule on the weekends, exercise differently and get light exposure later — all of this delays the circadian rhythm,” Harris finishes.
Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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