you know that feeling Staying up late studying or taking part in the early morning shift. No matter what happened, you skipped precious hours of sleep.
That said, the weekend is approaching and I’m sleeping for a few hours to refill my tank.
However, the next week can be lethargic, unfocused, and even a little grumpy.
You may be exposing your body to so-called social jet lag.
It’s a term coined by German researcher Till Ronenberg in 2006 and is basically a mismatch between the body’s circadian rhythm (body clock) and the outside world.
According to Simon Smith, professor of sleep and health at UQ, prolonged periods of social jet lag can negatively impact your health.
“One reason for this is that almost all vital bodily functions work according to our internal body clock and work best when these functions are in sync,” Smith told ABC News.
“Disturbing the clock seems to disrupt these functions, and re-establishing optimal timing can take time.”
But to get out of jet lag, you first need to understand your sleep chronotype.
What is sleep chronotype?
Professor Russell Foster, director of the Institute of Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, told Radio National that inside all of us, there is an internal structure that maps our behavior and physiology to the Earth’s day and night cycles. He said he has an internal body clock that synchronizes.
“But we don’t always align our body clocks with the Earth in the same way. Some people wake up early and go to bed early, some go to bed late and wake up late,” he said.
“This is primarily what we call our sleep chronotype, which comes from our body clock.”
According to Professor Foster, there are three main sleep chronotypes.
- Larks ・ Those who wake up early and go to bed early
- pigeon ・Those who wake up and go to bed at appropriate times
- owl – People who sleep late and wake up late
Sleep chronotypes are constantly changing in response to three factors.
- the study identified specific gene I tend to be a morning person and a night person.
- Year For example, people in their 20s go to bed about two hours later than people in their 60s.
- when people see the light after they wake up.
What is social jet lag and is it bad for your health?
Professor Smith says that social jet lag is very similar to regular jet lag.
“This is a mismatch between the circadian rhythms in your body and the outside world. This can occur in normal life where your chronotypes compete with your body clock,” he says.
“One measure of social jet lag is the difference in wake-up times between work/study days and ‘free’ days (e.g., weekdays and weekends during traditional working hours). ”
According to Professor Foster, vacation jet lag can be annoying, but social jet lag can lead to health problems.
“In more pressing situations, we become unable to process information, become more frustrated, more irritable, unable to communicate with others, and lose empathy.
“Continuing this for years and decades can lead to real problems such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease and even cancer and major metabolic events. are more likely to have type 2 diabetes.
This is why it’s so important to align your sleep chronotype with your work habits to the point where you need to be at the forefront of your employer’s mind.
“Employers should demonstrate a duty of care such as ‘I can chronotype my workforce to have late individuals for late shifts and fast individuals for early shifts’. Second, employees should mitigate some of these issues, Dr. Foster says
“I believe there is accommodation from both employers and employees.”
why can’t i sleep
Professor Smith says there are many reasons why you can’t close your eyes when you need them.
“Some people experience certain sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress can affect sleep in the same way pain and various chronic conditions can affect sleep.” There is,” he says.
“But more people are experiencing sleep deprivation or sleep deprivation because they are often the first to give up sleep when it seems like they are not getting enough hours in the day.”
When falling asleep seems impossible, Professor Smith says your environment can also be a factor.
“An increasing concern is the external environment. This includes traffic and aircraft noise that interferes with sleep, excessive street lighting in the home, elevated temperatures in bedrooms without air conditioning, and other factors that make it difficult to sleep. can be seen as a factor in the .
“The use of artificial lighting in the home has extended the virtual day. It means something,” he says.
Then there is the problem of maldistribution smartphone.
“Social media can be very engaging, but the content, timing and nature often conflict with the state of safety and tranquility required for sleep.”
how much sleep should i get?
Bad news if you’re waiting for magical numbers to refresh you every day. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person.
“The amount of ‘natural’ sleep we need varies from person to person. This need can change over the course of our lives. For most adults, this may be between seven and nine hours.” No,” says Professor Smith.
“Many people consider eight hours to be ‘the right amount.’ That’s enough sleep for some, but not enough for others. Losing an hour of sleep every night for a week. will lose a lot of sleep.”
Professor Smith says that by logging when you wake up each day, including weekends, you can ensure a healthy sleep schedule.
“Really, the amount of sleep you need is the amount that leaves you refreshed and energized in the morning and alert and calm during the day,” he says.
How can I sleep better?
Sleep experts say the best way to improve your sleep is to stop worrying about it.
“If you let it sleep, it will happen. Making sure you have enough time for sleep, creating a sleep-compatible environment, and establishing a routine that signals your body and mind to sleep are all helpful,” says Smith. says the professor.
Professor Smith also suggests next steps to improve your sleep.
- Reduce the intensity of home lighting in the evening
- Make smart decisions about using technology at night
- Stick to a set wake-up time (at least most of the time)
- regular exercise
But he also admits that for some people, these small changes aren’t enough.
“In that case, you have a well-trained sleep professional, such as a psychologist or a sleep doctor, who can offer you more focused ways to improve your sleep,” he says.
Professor Foster agrees that the best way to improve sleep is to embrace closing your eyes.
“At the turn of the century, people realized that sleep was incredibly important, but now people worry about sleep instead of accepting it,” said Professor Foster. say.
“Hopefully, in the next few years, we’ll be able to relax about sleep, realize that sleep is incredibly diverse, and stop worrying about it.”