You look at the clock and it already passed midnight. It is Sunday and, although you want to go to bed as soon as possible to not disgusted Monday, you are not able to. You start the week with the wrong foot, exhausted. But… what is this thing that happens to you? It is possible that you are “victim” of the jet lag social.
To understand this concept the main thing to remember is that all of us have a circadian rhythm. This is the one in charge “of regulating and controlling our internal system, which is related to the light, the darkness and the rotation of the earth”, as explains dr. Adela Friar, coordinator of the Unit of the Dream of the Hospital Universitario HM Puerta del Sur de Móstoles.
Says the doctor that our body adjusts naturally to this circadian rhythm: “There are experiments in which people are isolated completely and they didn’t know if it was day or night, your circadian rhythm is adjusted, the natural way to 24 hours and 11 minutes”.
It is when you “break” this circadian rhythm occurs when the so-called jet lag social. “This is the misalignment of our biological rhythm, which occurs on the weekends, to take a few hours of sleep different than we have on weekdays,” explains dr. Javier Albares, medical director of the Unit of the Dream of Teknon Medical Center of Barcelona.
To calculate our jet lag social, you need to look at the difference between our normal hours and days of rest. Put an example dr. Friar: “If a person sleeps during the week from 23:30 until 7:30 in the morning, the mid-point of sleep it’s 3:30 in the morning. The end of the week, if a person sleeps from 2:00 to 12:00 hours the middle point would be 7 in the morning. Therefore your jet lag social would be 3:30 hours”.
Also, the doctor gives the keys to recognize whether we suffer from this jet lag: “The common symptoms are indigestion, loss of appetite, difficulty with memory and concentration, clumsiness in movements, fatigue, dizziness, and irritability.”
This time difference can have a major effect on our health. “A difference of jet lag social two hours is the limit beyond which we are beginning to observe biomarkers unhealthy,” says dr. Friar. This means that, with this change in sleep patterns, affecting, therefore, to our habit of food, we may be more likely to suffer from obesity, fatigue, drowsiness, mood disorder, and even heart disease or diabetes.
To survive the “misalignments christmas”
At christmas time, in which we have diversity of dinners, parties, and social commitments, sometimes it can make us difficult to keep a good sleep hygiene and avoid jet lag social. Even though the doctor Albares says that, if one day you sleep less, there is no miracle that will get us to feel more rested, yes gives you some tips to try to reduce the impact of the few hours of sleep. “The ideal would be, instead of making dinner for company, make meals, and so the problem would be fixed” jokes the doctor, and continues: “But, if you are going to a dinner party, it is best to not abuse alcohol, which affects the quality of sleep, as it is also best to avoid coffee and drinks with caffeine. It would also be ideal to take a dinner to be as light as possible”.
Even with these guidelines, the doctor emphasizes the importance of avoiding these disorders of sleep. “It is necessary to be aware of that living in time is much more healthy, that we’re going to find much better, and we can adapt”, says the expert.
Explains that it requires an awareness at a social level, because “in Spain we have schedules very late: and eating dinner late, we go very late to bed and, therefore, we sleep less than the rest of Europe”. For his part, dr. Friar says that you need this awareness in order to avoid that, in times like the christmas, we face these disorders of sleep. “As society becomes more conscious of the importance of sleep in health will be held social commitments in a rational way,” he says.
Even with tips, dr. Albares is very clear what we must do to avoid jet lag social: “The only thing that can replace the hours of sleep are hours of sleep”, he concludes.
Translated from ABC News https://www.abc.es/bienestar/psicologia-sexo/psicologia/abci-tipo-puedes-sufrir-sin-subirte-avion-201912050307_noticia.html