What is social jet lag?

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As we find ourselves relying on technology for both social and professional tasks, many of us are guilty of staying up late on our phones, laptops, and tablets.

While it may seem harmless to pick up this habit, it turns out electronic devices are taking a toll on our health so much soa term called social jet lag has been introduced.

The team at House Call Doctor have dug deeper into the new term social jet-lag and how it can affect our bodies.

Social jet lag and its impact explained

The term, social jet lag, was created because the side effects of staying up late using technology, mimic those of jet-lag after international travel.

In Australia alone, an impending sleep crisis is affecting the nation and it’s becoming a growing problem.

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According to Professor Dorothy Buck, chairwoman of the Sleep Health Foundation, some common problems for those who suffer from lack of sleep include:

  • Making frequent mistakes while working
  • Often being late for work
  • Falling asleep whilst at work
  • Feeling as though they’re not completing their job correctly.

Many people believe the simple solution is to catch up on sleep during the weekends, however, this could wreak just as much havoc on your body clock as looking at your screen before you go to bed.

According to a new study, having these lie-ins on the weekend can increase your chance of developing irritable moods, chronic fatigue, and heart disease by about 11 per cent.

Lead author of the study, Sierra V. Forbush, said that sleep regularity (not only sleep duration) plays a crucial part in our health. She suggests that the key to a good’s night sleep is to have a regular sleep pattern.

As an after-hours home doctor service, House Call Doctor, recommends putting down your smartphone or other devices about an hour before you go to bed, so you can have a better chance at getting a longer and

You should aim to have at least seven hours’ sleep every night and try and keep up with your sleeping pattern on the weekends.

This will help you reset your body clock, making you feel happier and more importantly, less tired.

Studies supporting social jet lag

According to a study published in Science Medicine, approximately a third of Australians who use smart devices before heading to bed experience an array of symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Memory lapses
  • Impaired judgement
  • Impaired decision making.

The study, which was funded by the Sleep Foundation of Australia, surveyed 1,100 peopleto understand more about their sleeping habits, including how they feel when they wake up in the morning.

A third of those surveyed said they were forced to wake up earlier than they would like to in the mornings for obligations including work or study.

The results also discovered a majority of those who experienced jet-lag like symptoms had a connection with using the internet or a smart device within an hour before going to sleep.

The study’s lead author, Professor Robert Adams, said those who were experiencing social jet lag were more likely to be late for work.

If you’re experiencing sleep problems book an appointment and discuss them with your regular GP.