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If you take advantage of your weekends by going to bed late and sleeping in, you may be jeopardizing your health without even knowing it. This common practice, known as “social jet lag,” has become an important circadian marker for health outcomes 

Those individuals who are habitually following disordered sleep patterns by going to bed late on the weekends and waking up much later than they do during the week are more likely to experience sleepiness, fatigue, worse mood and poorer health overall, according to research.  

How is that possible? 

If you think about traditional jet lag, you may realize fatigue and sleepiness are common symptoms because your sleep schedule is disrupted by long hours of travel and time-change. It could take a couple of hours or days for your body to adjust. 

Now imagine doing that every week! Even though you may not travel every weekend, going to bed late and waking up later than usual, puts your body through the same experience by disrupting your sleep pattern. What’s even worse is that for many people, this is weekend habit, so they are literally jet lagged every week. Putting your body through those symptoms on a consistent basis, whether it be because you are out drinking or even at home watching TV, will definitely have you feeling less than ideal and will take a toll on your health. 

Keep in mind sleep duration does not matter when it comes to the negative adverse effects of social jet lag. Sleeping more hours on the weekend is not a way to catch-up for missed sleep during the week and it will not help you recover from going to bed late as much as setting a consistent sleep schedule.  

In fact, each hour of social jet lag may increase a person’s likelihood of heart disease by 11 percent.   

Sleep is crucial for recovery. This is the time your body uses cells to repair damage; it also creates antibodies to fight infections and keep you healthy. In addition, sleep time provides for new learning and memory pathways to be formed in the brain. There are numerous studies linking lack of sleep to undesirable outcomes. 

Because sleep plays a significant role in our health, experts recommend adults get a minimum of seven to eight hours every single night as consistency is better than trying to catch up at the end of the week.   

The most important goal in functional medicine is the optimization of health and balance, which cannot happen without adequate sleep. If you are going to bed on time and following a sleep schedule and/or routine but are still unable to rest, at Bellissimo Medical we can help you find the root of the problem as well as guide you into making lifestyle changes that will restore your good health and well-being.    

Call us today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989.  Dr. Jean-Claude Nerette practices Functional Medicine and is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine and Stephanie Muniz Nerette is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Diplomate to the Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Bellissimo Medical is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, in Weston. www.BellissimoMedical.com 

DrNerette@bellissimomedical.com

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