Social Jetlag May Cause Metabolic Problems

Nov 24, 2015 11:50 AM EST | By Denise Valerie Uychiat


If you don't feel like getting out of this morning, you might want to think about a new study revealing that sleeping in may be bad for your health.

The researchers gathered 447 healthy workers who take shifts at work, and examined their response to social jetlag. Social jetlag is the difference between our natural clock and our social clock which is usually found to be the time we have to wake up, either for work or school or other social events.

Social jetlag, in practice, is the time when we don't have to get up for work and just sleep in the next morning to a time that is more leveled to our body clock.

According to Till Roennberg, a professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University of Munich, this behavior may seem like those of people on a Friday evening flight from Paris to New York or to Los Angeles to Tokyo and on Monday they have to fly back. Since the situation is more of a travel jetlag situation, researchers called it social jetlag.

These researchers have already an idea that social jetlag can increase a person's risk of obesity. In recent studies, it was revealed that for every hour of social jetlag, the person's risk or being overweight or obese increases by 33%.

(Photo : Getty Images)

Lead author Patricia M. Wong, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh explained that this study is to show that even those healthy, working adults who get extreme schedule with regard to their sleep pattern, social jetlag may contribute to the development of some metabolic problems. These changes may increase the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

To get an accurate result, participants were made to wear wristbands that measured their movement and sleep patterns during a period of one week. They were also asked to answer questions about their sleep, diet, and exercise habits.

The researchers discovered that the more people slept during their off days, they are almost prone to have a poor cholesterol profile, higher fasting insulin larger waist circumference, higher body mass index and are more resistant to insulin than those who had less social jetlag.

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