How to cope with ‘Sunday night’ syndrome
Wherever you work and whatever it is you do, you’re probably no stranger to the feeling of dread on a Sunday evening from time-to-time.
Some call this the ‘Sunday night syndrome’ other call it ‘Sunday fear’, it often occurs after having an eventful, fun-packed weekend and you have a sudden realisation that you have a busy week in front of you. But as great as these weekends can be, they can also be detrimental to our sleep routines, and when heading into work on a Monday morning feeling drained.
Dr Nerina, Silentnight’s resident sleep expert, believes that Sunday night syndrome is often borne out of the fear that a day is destined for disaster if it’s preceded by a night of poor or broken sleep. She said: “The world is often moving so fast around us, that many of us are living purely in what she describes as ‘survival mode’, in which people are constantly looking into or thinking about the future without stopping to sit down and savour and enjoy the present.
“You may have problems sleeping every Sunday night in anticipation of the week ahead because you’re telling yourself, “I must sleep well tonight as I’ve got a busy week.” This problem is sometimes called the ‘monkey mind’, and this mindset can give rise to chronic sleep problems, whereby the fear of not sleeping is what is stopping you from sleeping.”
Overcoming this fear is crucial, according to Dr Nerina, and in fact, research tells us that our bodies are remarkably well-equipped to deal with the odd night of not sleeping well, and so remaining positive if you’re struggling is key.
That said however, getting a good night’s sleep on a Sunday can boost your chances of a bright and productive week tenfold. Dr Nerina said: “To wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead, you need to put the ground work in at bedtime. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to sleep earlier, but it does mean starting to wind down earlier in the evening.”
In order to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, she recommends, among other things, that you:
- Stop counting how many hours of sleep you are going to get
- Take breaks from technology
- Create a sanctuary in your bedroom
- Let go – sleep will come more effortlessly if you can let go of the day before you get into bed