More tired than usual on Monday morning? Need a few more cups of coffee to kick your brain in gear? You might be experiencing social jetlag — the condition the body and mind experience when the sleep schedule is interrupted.
Social jetlag occurs when your sleep schedule gets out of sync. Going to sleep later at night and waking up late on weekends can cause the body to have more trouble falling asleep Sunday nights and waking up earlier on Monday mornings. This can lead to a tough start of the work week, which, when the internal clock finally rights itself by Thursday, is only disrupted again on Friday.
Till Roenneberg, PhD, a professor at the University of Munich, says this shift in the sleep schedule is similar to changing time zones. The key difference is light, an important factor for the body’s internal clock. This means the amount of direct sunlight or darkness a person is exposed to per day can affect the internal clock.
Not only does social jetlag cost an extra cup of joe, but it can also have an impact on physical health. Heart disease, fatigue, moodiness and sleepiness can be results of social jetlag. Social Jetlaggers are more likely to:
All is not lost. Social jetlag can be combated with a solid seven hours of sleep and by maintaining a regular sleep schedule to help keep the body’s internal clock in check.