Joined: 03 Feb 2010
|Posted: Sat May 12, 2012 11:41 pm Post subject: Could different sleep schedules triple weight gain?
"Living against our body clocks is detrimental for our health," says one expert.
Do you wake up to the sound of an alarm each weekday? That may be a sign that your body clock doesn't agree with your daily schedule, a situation that over time may open the door to weight gain and other health problems.
Researchers in Europe have coined the term "social jet lag" to describe the all-too common practice of following a different sleep schedule on weekdays versus the weekend.
Our circadian rhythms are out of sync with our hectic work schedules, the theory goes, so each weekend we're effectively flying back and forth between time zones without ever leaving the ground.
Social jet lag is "the discrepancy between what our body clock wants us to do and what our social clock wants us to do," says Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Munich's Institute of Medical Psychology, in Germany. "It almost looks as if people on a Friday evening fly from Paris to New York, and on Monday morning they fly back again."
What's more, the body mass index (BMI) of overweight people tended to rise as the gap between their weekday and weekend "time zones" widened.
The findings echo previous research linking higher BMI to sleep deprivation and irregular sleep schedules. In particular, numerous studies have found an increased risk of obesity -- as well as chronic diseases such as diabetes -- among shift workers.
Any thoughts? Post your comments.
BE A MEMBER! JOIN THE FORUM