Social jetlag may make you obese

Social jetlag may make you obese

Social jetlag may make you obese

Feeling tired and often spotted snoozing at your desk? Also piling on the pounds? You may have “social jetlag”, say German researchers.

Social jetlag — a syndrome related to the mismatch between the body’s internal clock and the realities of our daily schedules — does more than make people sleepy and also make them obese, according to a team at University of Munich.

“We have identified a syndrome in modern society that has not been recognised until recently. It concerns an increasing discrepancy between the daily timing of the physiological clock and the social clock. “As a result of this social jetlag, people are chronically sleep-deprived. They are also more likely to smoke and drink more alcohol and caffeine. Now, we show that social jetlag also contributes to obesity; the plot that social jetlag is really bad for our health is thickening.

“Each of us has a biological clock. We can’t set those clocks according to our whims like watches. They are rather entrained by daylight and night-darkness to provide optimal window for sleep and waking. “In modern society, we listen to those clocks ‘less and less due to the increasing discrepancy between what the body clock tells us and what the boss tells us’,” said team leader Till Roenneberg.

To find out how big this problem really is, Roenneberg’s team is compiling a vast database on human sleeping and waking behaviour, which they will eventually use to produce a world sleep map, the ScienceDaily reported.

Now 10 years into the effort, they already have lots of information, including participants’ height, weight, and sleep patterns. Their analysis shows that people with more severe social jetlag are also more likely to be overweight.

In other words, it appears that living “against the clock” may be a factor contributing to the epidemic of obesity, the researchers said, adding that the findings should weigh in on decisions about Daylight Saving Time, not to mention work and school times.

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