Should we sleep and wake early to boost our health?早睡早起真的有益健康吗？ 时间:2018-05-15 单词数:4440
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’Social jet lag’
It’s a scenario familiar to many workers during the week.
After struggling to fall asleep, you’re abruptly dragged out of your precious slumber by the jarring siren of the alarm clock.
By the weekend you’re exhausted and sleep way past your Monday-Friday waking time to catch up on some precious sleep.
This may sound perfectly normal but it’s a sign not only that you’re not getting enough sleep but also that you have "social jet lag".
This is the term for the difference between when we sleep during the week compared with the weekend.
The bigger the social jet lag, the greater the health issues, such as increased risk of heart disease and other metabolic problems.
This is what is driving those studies that find night owls - particularly very late risers - are at increased risk of ill health compared with their morning-loving counterparts.
So how should night owls cope?
Should they sacrifice their lie-in on the weekend and set the alarm early to get back into sync with the time they have to operate in during the working week?
"It is the worst thing you can do," says Prof Roenneberg, who believes there is nothing inherently unhealthy about being a night owl.
"If you haven’t slept enough for five days you’d better catch up on your sleep and you better try to catch up at your individual best time to do that."
This is because when we want to sleep and wake is not just a habit, nor is it a sign of discipline.
Instead, it is influenced by our body clocks, about 50% of which is determined by our genes.
The rest is shaped by our environment and age, with 20 being around the peak age of lateness and our body clock getting progressively earlier as we get older.
"We have these ingrained attitudes that people who stay up late must be up to no good and people who sleep in late must be lazy, but really it is human biology," says Malcolm von Schantz, professor of chronobiology at the University of Surrey.
Simply getting up earlier is unlikely to override your genetic tendencies and instead will further deprive you of the sleep you’re already not getting enough of in the week, experts say.
Instead, it is workplaces, schools and society more generally that need to do more to accommodate night owls, sleep experts say.
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