Waking up at this time may be hurting your health

MELBOURNE, Australia —Waking up before the sun might be slowly killing you!

Rising before sunrise isn't just inconvenient, according to scientists in Melbourne, Australia, it also causes "Social Jet Lag."

"Social Jet Lag" refers to the difference in how awake someone is during the day when they're forced to wake up - versus when the body wakes up naturally. When the sun rises, it naturally suppresses the body's melatonin - the hormone that helps people sleep.

At the same time, the body's internal cortisol levels start to rise - the hormone that gives everyone that 'jolt' of energy in the morning.It might not sound all that harmful, but throwing off natural sleep patterns can cause hormonal imbalances and increase risks of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and depression.

Related: 11 ways to be healthy in the office

11 easy ways to be healthy at the office
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11 easy ways to be healthy at the office

#1: Stock your desk with healthy, low-calorie snacks

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#2: Don’t keep snacks at your desk at all

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#3: Stand up or walk around once every hour

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#4: Take the stairs instead of the elevator

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#5: Bring workout clothes to the office 

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#6: Pack your own lunch instead of buying

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#7: Fill your water bottle or get a glass of water first thing in the morning

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#8: Get sunlight (work by a window or take a quick walk outside)

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#9: Limit your caffeine intake to once a day

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#10: Stay conscious of your posture

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#11: Keep your desk streamlined and organized

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To mitigate some of these risks, there's a few things you can do. First, cut out the caffeine later in the day before you sleep. Second, eat a big breakfast, less sun exposure decreases vitamin d levels and a healthy meal really gives your brain a boost. And third, use technology — like an alarm clock that simulates the sun rising.

Things are even worse this time of year because the sun is rising later in the morning. Just a few more weeks though — on Nov. 6, daylight savings pushes the clock back one hour. Hopefully that one hour is enough.

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