Do You Have Social Jetlag?
It's Monday morning - you spent the weekend catching up on all that sleep you missed during the week, but for some reason, you wake up feeling exhausted.
What's the deal?
Turns out, when your weekend sleep cycle differs from your week one, your body suffers the side effects. The phenomenon is known as social jetlag - and it's quite common, especially among twentysomethings.
"When your social schedule affects your biological one, you may have social jetlag."
What Is It?
Social jetlag occurs when your weekend routine drastically differs from that of your normal week. Often, from Monday to Friday, your sleep schedule follows the same pattern, as you're waking up around the same hour for work. Once the weekend hits, you finally have the opportunity to wake up whenever you want and stay up late catching up with friends or television series you missed while working.
According to a study published in the journal Chronobiology International, this biological occurrence is more likely in teens and young adults under the age of 25. Shelby Freedman Harris, the director of Behavior Sleep Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, explained that social jetlag encompasses more than just sleep patterns, but takes lifestyle factors into effect as well.
"You eat on a difference schedule on the weekends, exercise differently and get light exposure later - all of this delays the circadian rhythm," Harris said to YouBeauty.
Are There Negative Effects?
Aside from impacting your sleep schedule, social jet lag can cause other negative health effects. One study conducted by Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., professor at the University of Munich's Institute of Psychology, and published in the journal Current Biology found that people who had severe social jet lag - or wider gaps between weekend and weekday behavior - were more likely to have higher body mass indexes than those whose schedules were closer.
How Do I Regulate It?
As with most sleep-related conditions, social jet lag can be avoided by developing and sticking to a healthy sleep schedule best suited for your lifestyle. Often, regulating your sleep starts with your sleep environment. Invest in tools that will help you sleep at night, like eye masks, ear plugs and noise machines. It's wise to invest in a heated mattress pad that can provide consistent warmth throughout the night, something that will help you drift off quickly around the same time each evening.