There’s this thing called “societal jet lag,” which is basically the difference in time between when you alarm wakes up and when you would normally wake up without one. It’s that feeling when you wake up tired and go to sleep exhausted, only because you woke up when your alarm clock tells you to and not when your body is supposed to.
Normally, the human body is conditioned to wake up when the sun is up and there’s a reason for that.
According to Dr. Maree Barnes, a Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Physician:
“When the sun comes up in the morning, the light turns off or suppresses melatonin, which is the naturally occurring body hormone which helps us go to sleep. At the same time, our internal cortisol levels start to rise in the mornings. Cortisol is the same hormone that’s released if you have a fright and get that jolt of energy.”
Do you have societal jet lag?
On the flip side, waking up in the wee hours of the morning before the sun rises can have negative effects because the melatonin levels in our bodies are still up, and the cortisol hasn’t kicked in yet. And this can lead to a host of problems like hormonal imbalances, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and even depression and accelerated aging.
So how can we stave off the societal jet lag? Here are 3 tips to consider:
#1. Skip the caffeine after 2pm.
This will allow your body to get rid of caffeine and settle into sleep mode by the time bedtime comes along.
#2. Plan for sleep.
Keep your distractions away (phones, TV, books, etc.) when it’s time for you to sleep. Sleeping early and waking up early is fine since your wake-up time is in sync with the amount of rest your body has gotten.
On the other hand, staying up late due to distractions and waking up early to the sound of the alarm will only worsen your societal jet lag.
#3. Have a balanced breakfast.
This means starting off the day with enough proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to give you a boost of energy.
On top of that, the sunlight should give you a healthy dose of Vitamin D, which has been linked to heightened energy levels.
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