Consistency is Key – Are You Unknowingly Suffering from Social Jet Lag?

One of the core aspects of having control over your daytime sleepiness is having a consistent rhythm. It is also very easy to neglect.

Many of us tend to have an unbalanced rhythm. We often are sleeping too little on the weekdays and then trying to fix the sleep deprivation on weekends. On weekends we might also go to bed later because there isn’t the same requirements to wake up early. In the worst cases, this type of behavior leads to having a sleep-wake–rhythm which differs many hours between the weekdays and weekends. Mondays become especially hard, as our body tries to adjust to an entirely new rhythm each week. It is a very similar phenomenon if you fly to another country and then have jet lag. That’s why we are referring to this particular phenomenon as “social jet lag“.

Jet lag is born when our inner clock (in our home country’s time zone) does not match the rhythm of the country we have travelled to. This difference often leads to insomnia, headaches, problems with metabolism, and a decrease in both cognitive and physical capabilities. In social jet lag, there is a distinct difference in the rhythm of our inner circadian rhythm and the rhythm of the outside world. However, the difference is often caused by our social life: parties, dinners, gaming, social media and other social gatherings.

Irregular rhythm is hazardous The immediate effects of social jet lag are familiar to everyone who has survived through Monday’s workday after an active weekend. However, many of the social jet lag’s effects are individual, partially indirect, and can last many days. The connection between them and the weekend’s irregular rhythm is not always evident. Social jet lag also has many harmful long term effects, such as increased diabetes risk as well as increased risk of heart and vascular diseases.

Not everything is lost How are your Monday mornings? Do you sleep distinctively longer into the morning on weekends? By sleeping enough during the week and keeping the rhythm on point during the weekends might have a great affect over your overall wellness and alertness to carry you through the days.

If you wonder how to get the hang of your inner clock, you can try Nyxo coaching. Available on App Store and Play Store.

Eeva Siika-aho
Co-founder of Nyxo