Weve got some bad news: Sleeping a few extra hourson the weekend may actually be bad for you. In consequence, by spending a few additional hours in the land of dreams, you are giving yourself social plane lag, according to a new analyze published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.This, they say, can lead to health problems in the long run.
Circadian rhythms, which are also found in plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria, alloworganisms to coordinate their biological activity with the day-night cycle. Although this rhythm is built-in, it is adjusted to the local environment using zeitgebers( period givers ), external clues like temperature, light levels and so on.
By changing our sleeping patterns over a short period of time, we are causing our natural rhythm to become out of sync with the surrounding zeitgebers, which in effect is what plane lag is. This new study aimed to investigate this phenomenon in a non-invasive route, allowing the subjects to live their normal lives while the researchers unobtrusively monitored their sleep patterns.
Over the course of the research, 447 peoples sleep patterns were tracked using sleep monitors attached to their wrists, which calculated sleep time based on the movement or absence thereof of the participants. Their health status was also assessed, and several blood samples were taken throughout the study. In particular, the researchers were looking for changes inblood sugar and cholesterol levels.
As expected, participants’ sleep patterns changed over the weekend, with many of the subjects staying up afterward and sleeping for longer. Worryingly, the researchers observed an apparent correlation between this change in sleeping pattern and the appearance of markers of detrimental health effects. The more dramatic the weekend transformation was, the more likely the subject was to demonstrate lower levels of good cholesterol and higher amounts of triglycerides( other fatty substances) in their blood precursors to heartdisease in the longterm.
Image credit: Sleeping in on the weekends may be messing up your internal clock. cosma/ Shutterstock
Those with a more dramatic transformation were alsothe most likely to experience weight gain and exhibit symptoms associates with the onset of diabetes. Although this study did not show that anyone developedheart disease or diabetes, it does had indicated that sleeping in and staying up far later on weekends, and then switching back to a normal weekday work pattern, is finally have a negative effect on your health.
However, the study did have some limitations: In particular, the researchers did not explore whether participants with greater social plane lag had different circadian rhythms than those with less.This means that certain people’s own circadian rhythms may have been more suited to the weekend sleeping pattern, whereas others’ may have been more compatible with the weekday sleep schedule.
A similar analyze, albeit more invasive, was conducted in 2012 by Harvard University. In this instance, the subjects were locked in a laboratory for several weeks, and were only let 5.6 hours sleep a night on a 28 -hour-long day. Without a doubt, the most significantdetrimental effect was to the subjects metabolism, their ability to convert nutrients into energy.
At the beginning of the study, all the participants were physically healthy; by the end of it, three were beginning to show signs of prediabetes, in that they had incredibly high sugar levels that the body was almost unable to reduce. The others were progressing rapidly towards this state.
Sleep disruption is already known to increase the likelihood of get heartdisease, diabetes and obesity; this new analyze, along with others, implies that by snoozing in for longer on the weekend, we are effectively causing our own circadian misalignment and risking our health as a result.
Read more: www.iflscience.com