Preliminary results of a new study show that social jet lag has emerged as an important circadian marker for health outcomes. Social jet lag is associated with worse mood, poorer health and heart disease.
Results show that social jet lag, which occurs when you go to bed and wake up later on weekends than during the week, is associated with poorer health, worse mood, and increased sleepiness and fatigue. Each hour of social jet lag also is associated with an 11-percent increase in the likelihood of heart disease. These effects are independent of sleep duration and insomnia symptoms, which are related to both social jet lag and health.
Social jet lag could be why 34.5% of Americans set goals to get better sleep this year, according to new AudienceSCAN data.
“These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health,” said lead author Sierra B. Forbush, an undergraduate research assistant in the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “This suggests that a regular sleep schedule may be an effective, relatively simple, and inexpensive preventative treatment for heart disease as well as many other health problems.”
Doctors and mattress stores can unite with messaging about social jet lag. 43% of Better Sleep Seekers listened to radio ads and then took action in the past year, new AudienceSCAN research revealed.
The research team was led by senior author Michael A. Grandner, PhD, MTR, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program. They utilized data from the community-based Sleep and Healthy Activity, Diet, Environment, and Socialization study, analyzing survey responses from 984 adults between the ages of 22 and 60 years.
Bedding stores can reach out to Better Sleep Seekers with informative ads focused on social jet lag. The new AudienceSCAN study showed 30% of this audience will buy new beds or mattresses in the next 12 months.
Social jet lag was assessed using the Sleep Timing Questionnaire and was calculated by subtracting weekday from weekend sleep midpoint. Overall health was self-reported using a standardized scale, and survey questions also assessed sleep duration, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and sleepiness.
Newspaper advertising could drive traffic to sleep clinics and mattress stores. The new AudienceSCAN survey reported 23% of Better Sleep Seekers took action after reading newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ads in the past month.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults should sleep 7 or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. In addition to adequate duration, healthy sleep requires good quality, appropriate timing and regularity.