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'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat 197

sciencehabit writes "A new study suggests that, by disrupting your body's normal rhythms, your alarm clock could be making you overweight. The study concerns a phenomenon called 'social jetlag.' That's the extent to which our natural sleep patterns are out of synch with our school or work schedules. When we wake up earlier than we're supposed to — or spend all weekend sleeping in and then get up at 6 am on Monday — it makes our body feel like it's spending the weekend in one time zone and the week in another. For people who are already on the heavy side, greater social jet lag corresponds to greater body weight."
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'Social Jetlag' May Be Making You Fat

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  • No alarm clock here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:30PM (#39957735)

    The buttons on my clock stopped working ~11 years ago, and I never bothered to replace the clock. So now I just wake up when I wake up. My internal clock is pretty reliable, waking me between 5 and 6 am each morning. (Assuming I go to bed at a decent hour like 9 or 10..... if I stay up late then naturally I sleep late.)

  • by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:30PM (#39957737)

    I think it's more the behavior of people who grind away on 4 or 5 hours sleep a night through the week then crash on the weekend. I used to be one of them. When I forced myself into getting more sleep through the week, I noticed a huge difference in how I felt and how much energy I had. Also weekends are much more enjoyable when you get up at 10 (so still sleeping in for a few hours) and feel great vice waking up at 2am and feeling groggy.

    If anyone is in the same place I was, I seriously recommend trying it. Set a consistent bed time. It's well worth losing a few hours of "minecraft time" for the extra energy (and probably health benifits). At the very least try it for a week.

  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @02:48PM (#39957945) Journal

    I noticed this after I had an accident as was in recovery for about 9 months. I noticed my best feelings were if I was on a ~30 hour day with 10 hours of sleep and 20 hours of awake doing stuff. Still wish I could go back to that schedule.

  • Re:Just do it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:46PM (#39958575) Homepage Journal

    The problem is that most people don't get enough exercise for the same reason that they don't get enough sleep—there aren't enough hours in the day. I would kill to be able to carve out an extra five hours a week for aerobic exercise. However, that would mean giving up either my job, giving up sleep, giving up (at least) one of my hobbies, or never watching another minute of TV for the rest of my life.

    By contrast, I can walk on a treadmill while I'm watching TV (a pair of extreme isolation headphones helps), which means I don't have to give up other activities to do it. That makes it the best bang for my buck, time-wise.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser