Letting your hair down at the weekend could be doing more harm than good / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Unable to fall asleep on a Sunday night? This could be the reason why

We all like to let our hair down come Friday, but studies have shown that some of your favourite weekend activities could actually be wrecking your sleep for the entire week ahead.

For many of us, the weekend is a chance to catch up on some much needed rest, as the monotonous routine we endure during the week is thrown merrily to the wind - but what if we're doing more harm than good? 

Workweek insomnia is real, and while not catching enough Zzs might seem like the obvious reason, it could in fact be quite the opposite. Here’s how sleeping in, binge drinking and lazy Sundays can affect your weekday sleep cycle.

You’re sleeping too much

Is there such a thing as too much sleep? It seems so.

According to sleep experts at Sweden’s Katolinska Insitute having an irregular sleep schedule confuses our natural cycle.

Sleeping in really late, taking long naps, or ones that are late in the evening means you won’t have an appetite for regular sleep and it will leave you feeling jet-lagged.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t catch a few extra Zzzs at the weekend though, just keep your wake up time to within 30 minutes of the time you get up during the week otherwise you can start to mess up your sleep cycle. 

You drink too much alcohol

Ever woken up in the night after having one too many tipples? Well, science says this is down to alcohol-induced sleep disruption.

Drinking too much booze affects your sleep pattern and quality as well as daytime alertness. In fact, one study has identified that alcohol, while improving the time it takes to fall asleep actually interrupts REM sleep later in the night.

The obvious solution here is to drink less but if you are going to have a couple of glasses of wine give your body a few hours to process the alcohol before hitting the hay. 

You don’t exercise at all

People have long disputed the benefits of exercising before sleep but studies show that if you don’t get moving over the weekend, it can really throw off your sleep pattern.

A study from Appalachian State University in North Carolina showed that morning workouts in particular are ideal for achieving the best quality sleep each night with early exercisers having up to 75 per cent more deep sleep than those who exercised later in the day.

While you might be tempted to take the weekend off, your body needs a regular pattern so try and get at least 10 minutes of activity early in the day or wind down with some relaxing yoga moves before bed. 

You’re binge-watching TV

We’re all guilty of spending the occasional lazy Sunday in front of the TV but it could be the reason that you’re finding it so hard to fall asleep at night.

While you might be static in stance your brain is constantly stimulated which could make it harder to switch off. One study has even shown that when people’s television time was restricted, they actually went to bed earlier and slept for a longer period; maybe that next episode can wait after all.

Try and get some activity in to your day and make sure to give your body time to unplug away from artificial light before heading to bed.

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