Social jet lag: why it is better not to sleep in at the weekend
Many people enjoy being able to stay in bed longer on weekends. However, US sleep researchers are now reporting that sleeping longer can harm your health. The risk of heart disease is increasing.
Increased risk of heart disease
People who have to get up early every working day because of work usually want to sleep in on weekends. It feels good, but it can obviously also be bad for your health. Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) reported years ago that irregular sleep, including long sleep in at the weekend, can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. University of Arizona sleep researchers have now also confirmed the negative effects.
Long sleep is not good for our body
Not only too little, but also permanently too much sleep adversely affects our health.
And irregular sleep times, such as sleeping longer on holidays or weekends, are not good for our body, according to scientific studies.
If bedtime differs significantly between the weekend and the working week, experts speak of a social jet lag. This term is also used in connection with the time change and the irregular bedtime of shift workers.
Prevent health problems
Sleep researchers at the University of Arizona at Tucson have now found that social jet lag is associated with poor health, mood, and increased fatigue and exhaustion.
To arrive at their results, the experts analyzed data from almost 1,000 adults between the ages of 22 and 60 who had participated in the Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization (SHADES) study.
The scientists around Dr. Michael A. Grandner, director of the University's Sleep and Health Research Program, also found that this significantly increases the likelihood of heart disease.
"It was particularly surprising that these effects were independent of sleep duration and sleep disorders," study author Sierra B. Forbush said in a message.
"These results indicate that not only the length of sleep alone, but also the regularity of bedtime plays an important role in our health."
According to the researchers, a regular sleep schedule could be an effective, relatively easy, and inexpensive measure to prevent heart disease and other health problems.
Not too much and not too little sleep
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends sleeping for at least seven hours for adults.
However, according to Norwegian scientists, more than eight hours of sleep per night are rather unhealthy.
In addition to the right length of sleep, good sleep quality, regularity and the right time are part of a healthy sleep.
If you have sleep problems, you should try some tips on how to sleep through the night: A healthy lifestyle and the absence of late meals, coffee, nicotine, alcohol and intensive sports in the evening are conducive to restful sleep.
It is also helpful to observe regular sleeping times and to reduce your weight in the event of being overweight. Various home remedies for sleep disorders are also useful.
A calming tea made from passion flower or chamomile, for example, has proven its worth to relieve tension. Relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or progressive muscle relaxation can also be effective. (ad)