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Jet lags can happen even while staying at home
Can you get jet lag while staying at home? Sounds ridiculous right? Don’t be surprised if the answer is “yes.”
Jet lag is a ‘sleep disorder’ resulting out of a change in time zone. Every human has his own ‘biological clock’, which decides when the body should sleep and be awake, and also when a hormone should be secreted by the body.
When you travel to a different time zone, your body remembers and tries to behave according to its regular pattern, however, your brain tells you to adapt and function according to the new time zone. During the period you’re awake, you will feel tired, yawn continuously and be in an irritable mood at least for 2-3 days after making the transition, as your biological clock will need time to adapt to the new time zone. This period is called the ‘jet lag’ period.
Now, the question arises – How can one develop jet lag despite not stepping out of one’s house, leave alone time zone?
Neurologists and sleep specialist term it ‘social jet lag’.
Before the advent of digital media from television to the more powerful social media, and the modern work culture, people had time to socialise by interpersonal communication at work and home. People were able to maintain a healthier lifestyle by following a specific time to socialise and also get enough time to sleep that our body requires.
However, nowadays, people don’t have enough time for interpersonal socialisation during the weekdays and therefore, they spend their weekends partying or by watching movies till late night. Weekends are often an opportunity for waking up late as most offices are closed.
A person, who is supposed to be in deep sleep by 1 am, often end up dancing late on Friday and Saturday nights or chatting with friends across the globe. Thus, the sleeping time gets extended beyond 3 pm or 4 pm. To compensate for this loss of sleep hours, one tries to wake up few hours late than their usual wake up time. However, come Monday, one again has to get back to their usual weekday routine.
This results in the ‘Manic Monday syndrome’ – when a person has to wake up early for office on Monday, which creates a situation as if one has travelled to London on Friday evening and returned back to Chennai on Monday morning. This results in excessive fatigue and tiredness, and the rhythm of steroid secretion by our body changes.
Research has proven the association of social jet lag with depression, gastric ulcer, and even cardiac and neurological diseases, which have become rampant among the youth nowadays.
Thus, this brings us to the conclusion that a minimum of seven hours of undisturbed sleep is very important for every adult, besides a fixed and regular sleep time.
Do spend happy weekends socialising with friends and family, however, remember that a “happy brain is a healthy brain.” Do not jet lag yourself in the name of fun as it is not worth the price you pay being jet lagged.
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