How can social jetlag affect your health and aggravate long-term chronic diseases?
Modernization and Westernization of our country have led to a drastic rise in the incidence of lifestyle diseases. The high stress lives that people live today gives birth to the problem of social jet lag.
Social jet lag refers to the mismatch between an individual's biological circadian rhythm and their socially imposed sleep schedules. It puts an individual at a higher risk of developing long-term chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular issues like heart stroke and heart attack.
The 21st century Indian has a tendency to sleep less or have an irregular sleep pattern. The reasons for this include weekends spent socializing and going out with friends and colleagues, a high stress working environment with no fixed hours and overdependence on technology, which keeps many, awake till wee hours of the night.
These sleep irregularities substantially decrease our cognitive performance, competence, and memory capacity. They impact our metabolism and immunity making us vulnerable to a host of diseases. Such people also have a higher tendency to develop obesity and depression.
Raising awareness about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA and President, HCFI said, “The term social jet lag has been continuously linked to lower HDL (bad cholesterol), higher triglycerides, insulin resistance, greater waist circumference, unbalanced body mass index (BMI), higher fasting plasma insulin and obesity. People living an irregular lifestyle are also more prone to addictions to evils such as cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. While stresses cannot always be eliminated, it is recommended that people consume a healthy diet, get at least 7 hours of sleep in a night, ensure that they spend time in the sunlight to replenish the body’s Vitamin D requirement and opt for relaxing techniques such as deep breathing and yoga as and when they get time. Social Jetlag is an emerging 21st-century problem and awareness must be created in this regard."
It’s natural for a human being to sleep at different times and wake up at different times, for every individual’s circadian rhythms are different. But a minor modification in a person’s lifestyle can also go a long way in helping reverse the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases in our country.
A few tips to keep lifestyle diseases at bay until the age of 80 years
· Women must keep their abdominal circumference lower than 80 cm and men 90 cm
· Keep your fasting sugar lower than 80 mg %.
· Keep your blood pressure lower than 80 mm Hg.
· Keep your heart rate lower than 80 per minute.
· Keep your bad LDL cholesterol lower than 80 mg %.
· Do not consume more than 80 grams of caloric solid or liquid food at once.
· Observe a carbohydrate fast 80 days a year.
· Do not consume alcohol and if you do, restrict it to not more than 80 ml in a day or 80 grams in a week.
· Consume at least 80 fruits and vegetables servings in a week.
· Do not consume more than 80 ml/gram of ghee, oil and butter in a week.
· Ensure to sit out in the sun for at least 80 days in a year to fulfill the body’s requirement of vitamin D
· Walk for 80 minutes in a day.
· Brisk walk for 80 minutes in a week.
· Keep noise pollution less than 80 dB.
· Avoid areas where the Particulate Matter 2.5 and PM 10 levels are higher than 80