Social jetlag – are late nights and chaotic sleep patterns making you ill?
Waking later at weekends can have the same effect as jetlag – and lead to weight gain, reduced mental performance and chronic illness. But there is a solution Do you set an alarm to wake you up on weekdays, then hit the snooze button at weekends because you need more sleep? If so, you could be experiencing social jetlag – a condition associated with weight gain, reduced mental performance and chronic illness. “Social jetlag promotes practically everything that’s bad in our bodies,” says Till Roenneberg, professor of chronobiology at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, who coined the term. It occurs when we go to bed later and wake up later at the weekend than on weekdays. Like normal jetlag, it is a consequence of being forced to shift our bodies between two time zones: one dictated by work and social obligations, the other by our internal timing system, the circadian clock. It is estimated that two-thirds of us experience at least one hour of social jetlag a week, and a third experience two hours or more – equivalent to flying from London to Tel Aviv and back each week. Like