Most nights of the week, you sleep just fine. The Land of Nod is open for business. But when you know you have work in the morning, late at night on Sunday, you toss and turn and cannot manage to get off to sleep.
Does this sound like you?
You might be surprised to learn that this is actually very common. It even has a name: Sunday night insomnia. However, it is not at all clear just how common it is, since most sufferers do not bother reporting it. Even top researchers, though familiar with the phenomenon, are not in the habit of looking into it very deeply. However, they do suggest that a couple of things are most likely to blame for it.
One analogy used is that of jet lag, although in this case it is self-imposed. Essentially, the weekend typically involves a disruption in a person’s usual schedule. During the week, you sleep and rise at roughly the same time every day, but on Friday and Saturday nights, you sleep and rise later, setting yourself up for disappointment on Sunday.
Your internal clock is known as the circadian rhythm. It is your body’s own way of telling time. But this can easily become confused and disrupted, and it can be difficult to return it to its original state. If your clock is off, say goodbye to your sleep patterns.
Some People Adjust Easier to Sleep Pattern Disruptions
Some people can adjust more readily than others, just as some people suffer less from crossing time zones. If you are the sort of person who has trouble maintaining a weekday rhythm, then it is important to focus on consistency. If you really have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights, consider enforcing a constant sleep and wake schedule every day, even on weekends.
Anxiety is also a real problem for many people. Lying in bed worrying about the week to come is very common, but it is also disastrous for healthy sleeping. It is important to reserve your bed for sleeping and sex, and avoid using it for anything else, such as reading or watching TV. Associating bed with sleep is important, and giving your body mixed signals is a sure-fire way to prevent yourself sleeping at night.
A Few Ideas to Help You Get Back to Sleep
Therefore, if you are not sleeping, you should not just stay still and try harder. Instead, try to occupy yourself for a while with some boring or repetitive task around the house. When you are tired, go back to bed. Typically, reading or listening to music can be soothing and relaxing for people. Bright screens such as TVs or computers tend to have the reverse effect and keep people wired. It hardly needs to be said that a comfortable bed is also vital, so check out some Sacramento mattress stores for inspiration!
Experts often recommend keeping a worry diary. The idea is to have a special diary you use for writing down all the things that concern you. By writing down your worries, you can help to explain them to yourself and separate yourself from them somewhat. Take fifteen or twenty minutes to write down your fears and then forget about them until morning. A relaxed, passive mind is what you need for great sleep.