Do You Suffer From Social Jet-lag?


Over the weekend I read an interesting article in the Smithsonian magazine (their most recent issue). Till Rosenberg, a professor at the University of Michigan, has noted that a great many people report symptoms similar in nature to that of jet lag, but the catch is that they haven’t been on planes. A closer examination revealed that their body clocks are quite off, primarily from the lack of sleep. Rosenberg explains that people see sleep as a “luxury,” rather than a necessity. NOT! By and large, people have to get up at the same time to go to work, so they shave off hours on the front end in the evening. Combine this fact that people spend less time outside, under the influence of natural sunlight, and you have a recipe for social jet lag. (time may be flying, but remember, we are in the driver seat). Our bodies DO have a natural clock, known in science circles as our circadian rhythms. When these rhymths are thrown off, it becomes quite stressful to the body, including a great compromise to the immune system. In fact, a great many hormonal processes. Scientists think our body’s clock is located in the hypothalamus (which also regulates the fight or flight response) Take note! If your body clock is off, you will more prone for fits of anger and anxiety. What is the cause of hitting the hay later these days? The consensus seems to be our love affair with technology, specifically, social media, hence the term, “social jet-lag.”
Stress Tip for the Day
Do you feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions with not enought time for yourself? Do you spend to much time on-line? Do you take your smart phone or tablet to bed with you? Do you feel like your 24 hr body clock needs a tune up?  It’s not to late to make a new year’s resolution to get your full 8 hours of sleep each night. This means in bed by 10:00 p.m, if you get up at 6:00 a.m. While you’re at it, make a second goal not to bring your smart phone in the bedroom. Anything that’s important can wait till morning. Really!
Links, Books and/or Movies of Note:
Here is the article mentioned above:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Your-Alarm-Clock-May-Be-Hazardous-to-Your-Health-183826751.html
Here is one more article about the addictive nature of smart phones:
http://mashable.com/2012/12/12/martphone-obsessed-generation-y/
Quote of the Day
“The circadian clock must be rewound every day to keep operating. Sleep has not been put out there by evolution as a time when we’re lazy. It’s a time when we’re preparing to be extremely active.” —T. Rosenberg.
Photo of the Day
Exercise also helps keep our body clocks in check, particularly if we exercise outside. I took this photo on Hanalei Bay last month… Enjoy!

 

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

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