Ignoring body clock can lead to obesity
The non-coordination between the body's internal clock and our daily routine not only make us sleepy, but this non coordination can lead to obesity, says a large-scale study.
"We have identified a syndrome in modern society that has not been recognized until recently," Till Roenneberg of the University of Munich, who led the study, has been quoted saying.
"It concerns an increasing discrepancy between the daily timing of the physiological clock and the social clock. As a result of this social jetlag, people are chronically sleep-deprived," says a report published in journal Current Biology.
"They are also more likely to smoke and drink more alcohol and caffeine. Now, we show that social jetlag also contributes to obesity; the plot that social jetlag is really bad for our health is thickening," added Roenneberg, as per a university statement.
Every one of us is born with a biological clock, he said. And we are not able to program those clocks as per our fancies like watches. They are rather entrained by daylight and night-darkness to provide the optimal window for sleep and waking. In the changing times we listen to those clocks "less and less due to the increasing discrepancy between what the body clock tells us and what the boss tells us."
Roenneberg's team is making a vast database on human sleeping and waking behavior, which they will use to make a world sleep map in the due course of time. With 10 years of effort, they have gathered a large number of information, including participants' height, weight, and sleep behavior.
The results of the study show that people with increased social jetlag are also more likely to be overweight. In other words, living "against the clock" may be a reason behind the epidemic of obesity, say the researchers.
"Waking up with an alarm clock is a relatively new facet of our lives," Roenneberg says. "It simply means that we haven't slept enough and this is the reason why we are chronically tired. Good sleep and enough sleep is not a waste of time but a guarantee for better work performance and more fun with friends and family during off-work times. And slimmer waistlines, too," he has been quoted as saying.
--with inputs from IANS
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