|Irregular sleep patterns cause 'social jet lag'
Not having a regular sleeping pattern could have an adverse effect on our health. So says a study published in The European Journal of Nutrition this week. The study suggests irregular sleeping patterns could increase the abundance of harmful species of bacteria in the gut. Altering the time we sleep on workdays and at weekends causes a shift in our internal body clock. Researchers call this "social jet lag". It leads to a poorer quality diet, with a higher consumption of sugary snacks, and lower intakes of fruit and vegetables. Study author and nutrition scientist Dr Kate Bermingham said: "Social jet lag can encourage [bacteria] species which have unfavourable associations with your health."