If you have trouble winding down at the end of the weekend, you’re not alone. According to a new sleep survey, Sunday is by far the worst night of the week when it comes to getting shut-eye, with nearly a quarter (23 percent) of people surveyed suffering sleeplessness on Sunday.
The meditation app Calm.com polled a group of 4,279 Americans and Britons, and of those participants, 49 percent could identify a particular night of the week during which it was the most difficult for them to sleep. Nearly half of that group (46 percent) said Sunday was the worst night for sleeplessness, while 17 percent named Monday as the night they had the most trouble sleeping.
What did the report discover was the best night for sleep? Thursday, with just 5 percent of the group struggling to get rest on what some might call “the new Friday.”
“Sunday may be the day of rest, but it seems the night of restlessness,” Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of the sleep app, explained in a press release. “Thursday, in contrast, seems the true night of rest.”
Dr. Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and insomnia specialist featured on the app, tells The Daily Mail that the reason people sleep so terribly on Sunday likely has to do with erratic weekend schedules, which can definitely throw off a sleep routine. Sunday-night sleeplessness may also be due to the anxiety many people feel about returning to work on Monday. Jump ahead a few days, and the majority of us have fallen back into our normal routine by Thursday, and therefore get better sleep on that night than on any other night of the week.
“Many people go to bed later on Friday and Saturday nights and then sleep in later on Saturday and Sunday mornings,” explains Orma. “So when they go to bed on Sunday night, they’re often just not tired. And then when they can’t sleep, they start to think about why they’re not sleeping, which only makes things worse.”
And if you spend your weekends boozing, that may also contribute to Sunday sleeplessness. “On weekends people drink more alcohol, which definitely disturbs sleep,” Orma notes.
This research is consistent with a 2015 U.K. study conducted by Tune Hotels Group, which found that a quarter of people suffer from “Sunday insomnia.” The participants listed anxiety relating to commuting and work in general as the biggest culprits of their Sunday-evening restlessness. A recent Monster.com survey also determined that 76 percent of Americans report having “really bad” Sunday-night blues.
So what can you do if you suffer from Sunday insomnia? Try ditching the cellphone, making your room as dark and quiet as possible and reading for 15 minutes before going to bed. (Head here to check out more proven tips for a good night’s sleep.)
And while Sunday nights may be psychologically unsettling, just know that there are a lot of people out there enjoying the morning hours. A recent study in the U.K. determined that the most popular time of the week to have sex is 9 a.m. on Sunday.
What Do YOU Think?
On what day of the week do you have the most trouble sleeping? Do you agree with the findings of this study? Why do you think people struggle with sleep on Sundays?