This is why you can't get to sleep on Sunday nights

5 February 2018, 10:05

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Sunday evenings are often the most rubbish time of the week. All of a sudden, the weekend is over, and school/college/work/etc is about to start all over again.

Even when you've managed to get yourself into bed nice and early with fresh bedsheets all ready for a good night's sleep, Sunday seems to make things more tricky to actually nod off.

This leads to a rather horrid Monday morning where you feel even more knackered than usual, which sets off a chain reaction for the rest of the week. And repeat.

So why does this happen?

Simba's sleep psychologist Hope Bastine recently explained to Cosmopolitan that as many as 60% of people have similar issues with falling asleep on Sunday nights.

She explained that it is often down to the disruption to our usual sleep pattern over a weekend. "Over the weekend we have disrupted our usual, albeit unhealthy, sleep pattern. We’ve had a lovely lie in and repaid our workweek sleep debt and are now feeling well-revived.

"We're creatures of habit governed by our body clock, the Circadian Rhythm, and routine is the primary language of the brain. So when we change our usual habit, our brain feels out of sorts.

"In addition, let's say you woke up at 10am on Sunday and want to get a nice 9pm early night in preparation for the week ahead – that’s just 11 waking hours. Not really enough to make you flat out tired again.

"This sudden change in sleep behaviour disrupts the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Although you need to catch up on lost sleep it’s important to maintain a regular routine and be active during the day instead of binging on Netflix."

> Read more: This simple trick will make you fall asleep in 16 minutes

But a lazy weekend isn't the only reason behind difficulty in falling asleep on Sundays. A certain dread for the next week is also to blame.

"You're laying in bed ready for your early night, thinking about the ever-growing to-do list. For the last couple of days you’ve been off work, feeling relaxed and doing as you please, but you know you're about to switch into being busy and tired again during the upcoming working week. It's a pendulum effect that can cause your brain to go into overdrive.

"This lifestyle inconsistency creates an awful psychological tug-and-pull anxiety between our desire for a sustainable good life, and achieving our aspirations and dreams," says the psychologist. "Dreading the drain of the work-week is remarkably anxiety-provoking."

Hope advised that going to bed when you feel like it rather than just when you think you should, will often give you a better night's sleep.

"Enjoy those me-moments," she added. "Read that book you’ve been meaning to read, take a bath, or pamper yourself. Get your early night on Monday night instead!"