New research indicates that shifting your sleep schedule by as little as one hour can lead to fatigue, increased grumpiness and sleepiness, which is referred by scientists as “social jetlag.” Sierra Forbush, a researcher at the University of Arizona-Tucson, says that social jetlag is comparable to jet lag, but instead of feeling tired because of the change in time zones, people feel tired because of the change in their social responsibilities. Further, it turns out that everyone experiences the same amount of social jetlag, regardless of age or gender.
Did you know that 86% of people say that they shift their sleeping schedule on the weekend? Even with so many people changing their sleeping schedule weekly, we don’t really know much about why it affects our health in the way that it does. What we do know is that when we wake up earlier or later than what we’re accustomed to, we can trigger a hormonal change that leads to fatigue and irritation. So, even if you sleep longer on the weekends, what affects your health and mood is not the amount of sleep you get, but the disruption in the natural cycle of sleep that your body is used to.
Sierra Forbush, University of Arizona College of Medicine
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