If your sleep schedule differs between the weekends and weekdays, you’re likely experiencing what researchers call “social jet lag” and it could be making you fat.
Social jet lag, a term coined by researchers in Europe, refers to the discrepancy between your natural body clock and your social clock — the schedule you need to keep for your job and other social commitments. If you’re relying an alarm clock to wake up every morning during the week, but sleeping in on weekends, that’s a good sign there’s a mismatch. The end result is that your body’s basically shuttling back and forth between time zones each week while you’re becoming increasingly sleep-deprived.
“While during the workweek [people] get too little sleep and are woken by the alarm clock in the middle of their biological night, they sleep in on the weekends in order to fill up their tanks with the sleep they need,” researcher Dr. Till Roenneberg of the University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Psychology, in Germany, said in a videoabout the study.