Social Jet Lag

Andrew Sullivan —  May 7 2012 @ 8:06am


Is driving us slowly insane:

Simply calculate the difference between the midpoint of your average night’s sleep on a workday and a day off. Say on workdays you fall asleep at eleven and wake up at six: Your midpoint is 2:30 a.m. On weekends, you fall asleep at one and wake up at nine: Your midpoint is 4:30—and you’ve got two hours of social jet lag. You might as well fly from New York to Utah. Social jet lag, unlike real jet lag, is chronic. Its chief symptom is sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation is—surely I do not need to tell you this—ghastly. It leaves you with the equilibrium of a despot, the attention span of a toddler, and the working memory of a fire hydrant.

Along the same lines, modernity hasn't been kind to our circadian rhythms.

(Photo: A man sleeps with a newspaper on his face in the grass enjoying the warm weather in a park in central London on March 15, 2012. By Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images.)