Do you tend to sleep more on weekends than on week days? Beware, you are more likely to experience 'social jet lag,' which is associated with the increased risk of heart disease, researchers warned.
The findings showed that each hour of social jet lag -- which occurs when one goes to bed and wakes up much later on weekends than during the week -- is associated with an 11 per cent increase in the likelihood of heart disease.
Social jet lag also leads to poorer health, worse mood, as well as increased sleepiness and fatigue.
"These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health," said lead author Sierra B. Forbush, research assistant from the University of Arizona in the US.
"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," Forbush added.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommendations, adults should sleep seven or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
For the study, published recently in the journal Sleep, the team analysed survey responses from 984 adults between the age of 22 and 60 years.
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 standardised scale, and survey questions also assessed sleep duration, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and sleepiness.