Social Jet Lag

Irregular sleep schedules and broken sleep-wake times are not just an occasional traveling phenomenon, but a wider problem due to our social lives conflicting with our sleep patterns.

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Our internal body clocks are better programmed to help us sleep and wake up, according to our unique body chemistry and energy levels.

Ignoring our internal clocks in favor of the alarm clock, and following our social obligations, sacrificing on sleep, is taking its toll on our health.

As our sleep patterns shift, leading to poor or no rest, there are a bunch of diseases that become more likely:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Metabolic imbalances and diabetes
  • Heart disease.

The World Health Organization has listed night-shift work as a cause of cancer in our bodies.

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When you lack sleep, not only does your circadian rhythm go out of sync but it also further exacerbates difficulties with attention span, mood swings, and changes in memory.

Here are some things you can do to reduce your circadian instability:

  1. Minimize the number of your night shifts
  2. Have the same sleep-wake schedule whether you're at home or during the workdays
  3. Get some sunlight after waking up to cue in your biological clock and raise alertness levels.
Jet lag

Jet Lag is a debility similar to a hangover. Jet Lag derives from the simple fact that jets travel so fast they leave your body rhythms behind.

Our biological clocks are synchronized to a 24-hour period. Our internal clocks drive our circadian rhythms, which anticipate dawn and dusk, and control everything from blood pressure to how hungry we are. When we fly to a different time zone, (or work night shifts), our internal clocks go out of sync.

Your Body is a Clock

Around 30 to 50 percent of people sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Another 40 percents are either slightly morning people or slightly evening people.

To understand why some people are early birds while others are night owls, we have to take into consideration the body's circadian system.

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