Don’t worry about New Year lethargy- it’s a natural condition

Don’t worry about New Year lethargy- it’s a natural condition

The decorations are down and despite your hopes of hitting the new year ground running, in all probability, you are like millions of others in struggling to get into second gear, let alone turbo drive.

However, don’t be too hard on yourself, because the sluggishness you are feeling is a scientific condition called social jet lag, which affects many of us over the holiday period.

Staying up late, having long lie-ins, and no alarm clock, have messed up the circadian rhythm that helps you function as the professional you are for most of the time.

It means poorer memory and also slower reaction times, which explains why driving on busy roads feels particularly hazardous even when the New Year is well upon us.

To add to this, it is also worth stating the obvious that as well as the circadian rhythm being thrown off kilter by 2am bedtimes becoming the festive norm, many people will have endured a great deal of over-indulgence of both food and alcohol. This also takes time to get out of your system.

The research carried out by Dr Till Roenneberg, a professor at the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University of Munich, will be a great relief to many who read this. After all, it is frustrating to have good intentions with which to march into 2018, but feeling deflated at the lack of ability to really hit even average let alone the heights you know you are capable of.

Not new, the social jetlag phenomenon, was first highlighted broadly in the media in 2015, but with many people questioning why they feel so listless, it seemed to be a good time to share this nugget of wisdom.

Dr Roennenberg also warned that for every hour of social jet lag, the risk of being overweight or obese rises about 33 percent because disrupted sleep can slow down your metabolic rate.

The medical advice is go out for a walk outside to help re-adjust as even 20 minutes outside on a cloudy day will give you more than 30 times more light than sitting in an office for 12 hours.

The good news is trying to get a little extra sleep than the recommended 8 hours, just an extra hour, for four nights will see you mentally re-adjust and start to become the human being you were before Santa flew into town.

So everyone, wishing you a great, belated 2018. Take it easy on yourself. After all, the party is over and clearing up the mess is no easy job.