The biological clock in the body is such that its hands need to be synchronized at all times. Or we may have to pay a price for the resulting social jet lag in the form of fat deposits in the body, claim scientists from the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU).
People suffer from social jet lag generally when they sleep and eat in a disorganized manner due to stressful daily activities. While we are already familiar with a study citing disrupted circadian rhythm to be a cause of obesity, this study reiterates the idea.
“Our surveys suggest that in Western societies two thirds of the population are burdened with a significant discrepancy between their internal time and the demands imposed by school and work schedules and leisure stress,” shared LMU chronobiologist Professor Till Roenneberg.
According to the team, lack of sleep could play a major role in the obesity epidemic. This is precisely because less sleep disrupts the appetite and leads to overeating. Moreover, certain lifestyle habits create a barrier to the internal processes of the body that may subsequently result in weight gain.
Some countries practice daylight-saving time (DST), where daily timings are adjusted to make for more daylight in the evening and less in the morning. The investigators revealed that this habit may lead to irregularity of the biological rhythm and cause social jetlag.
The results of the study are based on a survey called Munich ChronoType Questionnaire with approximately 130,000 individuals participating in it. It covers questions related to activities on weekends, habits and so on.