Many of us are back to work today after a long holiday weekend, and if you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, you may be able to chalk it up to a phenomenon called “social jet lag.”
What is social jet lag, anyway? It’s “the discrepancy between what our body clock wants us to do and what our social clock wants us to do,” Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., a professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University of Munich, told CNN in May. In a nutshell, over the holiday break you’ve probably observed a fairly natural sleep cycle, and now that you’ve returned to your work schedule, your body may resist the change.
Social jet lag is so named because its symptoms are very similar to those of travelers’ jet lag: difficulty concentrating, fatigue, memory problems, indigestion, and listlessness. It may even cause weight gain due to its negative effect on your sleep cycles.
How can you fight social jet lag? Try your hardest to observe a consistent sleep schedule, whether it’s a weekday or weekend.
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