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If You Enjoy A Weekend Lie In Then Science Has Some Bad News For you

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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Social jetlag. It sounds like some kind of modern day nonsense that was dreamt up by know-it-all types in some far-away land like America or somewhere like that. Well that may be that case but that's not to say you should completely ignore it.

According to those in the know, 'social jetlag' refers to the mismatch between an individual’s biological circadian rhythm and their socially-imposed sleep schedules'. In other words, it's what happens when you allow yourself to sleep too much when you have nothing pressing (like work) to get up for. Not only is it real but it could also be damaging your health.


Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have been looking into the phenomenon and in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, they have some bad news for the vast majority of us. If you go along with the sample studied, about 85% of us stay in bed longer on our days off work.

That's fairly common sense you may say. However, that's not to say you should fall into that lovely, comforting trap. According to the study, the longer the gap between your weekday sleep and your weekend sleep, the more likely you are to develop all kinds of less-than-ideal side effects.

Participants who had a greater misalignment between their sleep schedules on free and work days tended to have poorer cholesterol profiles, higher fasting insulin levels, larger waist circumference, higher body mass index and were more resistant to insulin than those who had less social jetlag.

There you are then. Make sure to remember that lovely warning next Saturday when the pillow feels like the only comfort in the world and you know you don't have to get up for work.

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