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Title:Got Monday morning blues? It could be ‘social jet lag’

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Are you taking the saying 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' seriously? While you're juggling time for work, play and rest, this may also be robbing you of your health.

For most Mumbaikars — who finish a packed, eight-hour day and then try to make up for enjoyment on the weekend — bedtime isn't when it's sunset and afternoons are the new mornings. This change in the sleep cycle owing to social appointments, termed social jet lag syndrome, is detrimental to health, warn experts. Explains Patricia M Wong of a university in Pittsburgh, "Social jet lag refers to the mismatch between an individual's biological circadian rhythm and their socially imposed sleep schedules." And it's nothing to sweep away under the carpet either; fooling the body clock this way can have grave repercussions...

It increases the risk of diabetes
"This is the most prevalent disorder in an urban scenario and there is an alarming increase of social jet lag, especially among young adults," reveals sleep disorder specialist Dr Preeti Devnani. The cause is multi-factorial. "Everything from work pressure, social commitments and our basic lifestyle choices are such that we don't give adequate importance to sleep. And we don't realise how detrimental it can be. You try and catch your 40 winks at odd hours to build up on sleep debt, but eventually, it leads to chronic sleep deprivation. This can impact the mood, hamper immunity, lead to insulin resistance and a risk of cardiovascular disease," she warns.

Adopt sleep Hygiene
People actually toss the word 'social jet lag' around like it's a fad, but switching sleep cycles is dangerous, states lung and sleep specialist Dr Prashant Chhajed. And having the right sleep hygiene can prove to be a simple solution, believe experts.

"One must cultivate the practice of having quality sleep and this is where the bedroom comes in," he explains, and shares a few dos and dont's...

- The bedroom should have no distractors. Do not watch TV there.
- Do not read books or work on a laptop or another gadget in your bedroom. These can lead to a disruptive sleep schedule.
- One must also sleep on time and wake up early in the mornings. While shift workers may find it difficult, others must efficiently try and match their working hours with the demand of the biological rhythm.
- Limit light exposure in the bedroom and avoid caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants close to bedtime.

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