Lauren Smith | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 10 December 2015

Why Your Weekend Lie In Could Be Bad For Your Health

Why Your Weekend Lie In Could Be Bad For Your Health

The Debrief: 'Social jet-lag' is a thing, apparently

Love a lie-in at the weekend? Who doesn't. Well, actually me, but I am probably one of the only people who posseses the inability to sleep in. Although according to a new study, maybe that's a good thing - as a 'disrupted sleep schedule' - or social jet lag, as it's known - could cause a range of health problems.

A study published by Dr Patricia Wong at the University of Pittsburgh in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, detailed that switching up your sleeping patterns at the weekend could increase your risk of getting diabetes and heart disease, and it completely messes up your body clock.

Studying a group of 450 middle-aged adults, who all wore devices to track their acitivity and sleep, Wong found that those that altered their sleeping patterns drastically on days off had a higher risk of health problems, including extra girth around the midsection and higher levels of sugars and fat in the blood.

While the study didn't prove that the sleep patterns cause particular illnesses, the side effects could be contributing factors to conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Those that are awake later at night were also more likely to get "social jet lag". 

Dr Wong told Reuters

‘Social jet lag is a habitual form of circadian misalignment, when individuals have to essentially sleep and wake at times that are out of sync from their internal, biological clock and shift back and forth in their sleep schedules due to social obligations.’

So while the study isn't saying that 'your weekend lie-in can kill you', it's certainly interesting to see that a buggered up body clock can have on the body. For now though, you can probably treat yourself to the odd lie in now and then, because sometimes you really need it. 

Like this?

Why do we need sleep?

A genius life hack that will help you sleep

How to get more sleep without doing a thing

Follow Lauren on Twitter @laurenjsmith