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There's A Scientific Reason Why You Can't Sleep On A Sunday Night

There's A Scientific Reason Why You Can't Sleep On A Sunday Night

We've all been there: tossing and turning in bed until you're so furious about not sleeping you're even more wide awake.

For many, you may sleep like a log all week long, but it's Sunday night that you can't nod off, try as you might.

And it turns out there are two very valid scientific explanations for this.

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The first and more obvious is due to anxiety as a result of the 'Sunday Scaries' - aka dreading that you have a whole five days of work ahead of you.

It suddenly dawns on you that you should've not left work early on Friday and totally sent those last few emails.

Whilst we all know this is 100 per cent a reality, what exactly is it that physically stops us sleeping?

Dr Ria, Consultant Psychologist at Pall Mall Medical said: "More often than not, it is the dread of returning back to "real life" and work commitments on a Monday which causes feelings of anxiety.

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"The implications of Sunday anxiety can prompt a person's mind into over drive and as a result can cause poor sleep hygiene.

It is phenomenon that affects so many of us on a Sunday (Credit: Unsplash)
It is phenomenon that affects so many of us on a Sunday (Credit: Unsplash)

"Bedtime is a time when a person needs to be winding down, whereas anxiety stimulates the brain and can therefore cause a restless night.

"Instead of resting, a person's brain is active and this can prevent you from being able to fall asleep."

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It's all down to an adrenaline rush, Dr Ria explained to Tyla.

But this can then spiral and you then realise you aren't sleeping, which heightens anxiety further.

He says it creates "a viscous cycle, whereby a person's worries about not sleeping, prevent them from sleeping at all." Annoying.

Anxiety as well as a lack of rhythm over the weekend both can contribute to not sleeping (Credit: Pexels)
Anxiety as well as a lack of rhythm over the weekend both can contribute to not sleeping (Credit: Pexels)
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There's another scientific reason too. Apparently, this Sunday restlessness is also down to our messed up weekend rhythms.

If you're anything like us, you no doubt partied hard, then laid in bed until noon barely moving and bingeing Netflix - and this contributes to your "social jet lag".

Oliver Elliot, sleep expert at Dreamcloud Sleep says: "This is where your circadian rhythms which dictate how much sleep you need become misaligned with the sleep you're actually getting, and can lead to not being able to settle back into your weeknight routine ahead of Monday morning.

"Though a lie-in on a Saturday or Sunday morning may seem harmless after a night out on the tiles, they can actually lead to social jet lag.

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It's a vicious circle because once you can't sleep you get more anxious and then are less likely to drift off (Credit: Pexels)
It's a vicious circle because once you can't sleep you get more anxious and then are less likely to drift off (Credit: Pexels)

"Named so because it mimics symptoms of jet lag, social jet lag refers to the disruption caused to your body clock by not having a regular sleep routine.

"To combat this, it's vital to try and go to bed and wake up at a similar time as much as possible. And, if you do find yourself out late on the weekend, try and set an alarm for 7-9 hours after you tuck up, to keep your internal body clock as aligned as you can."

So while it may be tempting to stay in bed 'til noon, thinking you're doing your body good by catching up on all that missed sleep, it's actually better if you get up early after your big night out, no matter how painful it is.

New year, new you and all that - we have faith.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: You, wellbeing, Life, Sleep, Health

Lauren Bell

A freelance journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a journalism degree, Lauren started off in real life magazines before moving into the fashion and lifestyle sector at the likes of Mail Online and Sun Online. Contact Tyla: [email protected]