Defy the Tories and enjoy your Sunday lie-in

MPs are silly to blame national decline on our fondness for repose
  • @MattChorley

If you're sleepily reading this after midday, you'll have the Tories to answer to. To some thrusting backbenchers, you are letting your country down. The Empire wasn't built by people lolling around in jimjams.

"Too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work," according to five hotly tipped Tory MPs in their new book Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity.

But blaming China's growing economic might on Sunday-morning dozing is silly. Mirage- like, lie-ins don't really exist, as anyone with kids or a flatulent partner will tell you. It's the possibility that gives such pleasure. Here we present 10 tips for defying the Tories and enjoying a lie-in:

1. Stairway to divan

A comfortable bed is essential. Not too hard or too soft. If you wake up early and just can't get comfy, get that "just into bed" feeling by flipping the pillow. Shut off the heating, too – your bedroom should be 16C to 18C.

2. Don't let there be light

In the olden days we went to bed at sunset, and woke at dawn. Get some blackout blinds. Or an eye mask.

3. Sleeping Beauty

Men and women always argue about who needs more sleep – often when a baby wakes. Sorry gents, but she wins. A Loughborough University study found multitasking women use more brain power when awake, so they need an extra 20 minutes shut-eye.

4. Teenage kips

Children who do not get up at weekends reduce their risk of obesity by up to 30 per cent, apparently.

5. Do wake your Nana

Too many lie-ins in retirement can be bad for your brain. US researchers found older women who got seven hours sleep a night had better memory than those who had nine hours.

6. Be a sober sleeper

Alcohol before bed disrupts sleep, and nothing kills a lie-in like waking with a mouth like a barman's cloth.

7. Turn off your phone

Parents are biologically programmed to call with vital news about next door's cat just as you drift off.

8. Lie-ins are for losers

Olympians don't doze. Nick Littlehales, Team GB sleep coach, warns lie-ins are a sign of bad sleep patterns: "It's better to wake at your normal time, leave the room, do your normal things, then go back to bed later to unwind mentally."

9. Give peace a chance

From John and Yoko to Winston Churchill, some of our greatest minds have done their best work in bed. Checking an Excel spreadsheet on your Blackberry doesn't count.

10. Toriezzzzz

Still struggling to get back to sleep? Pick up a copy of Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity. Sweet dreams...