Ever wonder why Mondays are such a drag?

You might want to take a closer look at a new survey about Sunday nights.

An app called Calm asked 4,279 people about weekly sleep patterns, and almost half (or 46%) named Sunday as the night they sleep the worst out of the week.

Only 17% mentioned Monday, which is almost as surprising. The best night for sleeping by far? That would be right before the weekend--only 5% of the respondents said Thursday was the worst. Dr. Steve Orma, a spokesperson for the Calm app, notes how our sleep patterns change over the weekend, often to the detriment of Monday morning.

"Many people go to bed later on Friday and Saturday nights and then sleep in later on Saturday and Sunday mornings," says Dr 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."

This is a huge problem for me. Mondays are by far my most productive day--I'm ready for the challenge of the week, hungry to be productive. Coffee doesn't provide the same spark it once did (and I'm drinking less of it these days). There's a precious two hour window on Monday mornings, after my seven-minute morning routine, when I'm more productive than any other time or day, but if the night before was restless, it ruins this prime opportunity.

Dr. Orma also mentioned how drinking over the weekend can also cause problems for Sundays night (not a problem for me, I stopped drinking as a young adult--long story on that one but feel to ask me about it) and so does anxiety. We tend to think about the week ahead on Sunday nights, which ruins our sleep cycles.

Armed with this knowledge, I tried a few techniques over this last weekend.

My first step was to use the Calm app, which helped me with some breathing exercises. Then, I played a few Sleep Stories at around 10PM on Sunday night. One of them, called Waterfall, reminded me a movie called Paterson I had watched a few nights ago that mentioned waterfalls. Zonk. I fell right to sleep, so I have no idea what the person said or what the story is about. The app worked wonders.

I'm also testing a new pillow. The Bedgear Level Performance Pillow costs $120 but it has both a strange firmness and softness at the same time, mostly thanks to some silky fibers inside. And, again for testing purposes, I am reviewing a Nuvanna mattress, which shipped out to me in a box. (I'll be donating it to the Salvation Army soon.) This is my first mattress test using a service like this, and combined with the new pillow and the app, I slept quite nicely on my first Sunday night before a week of work.

My advice for sleeping better on Sunday nights? Be intentional. Knowing that most people also struggle with sleep on Sunday nights, develop a routine to help you sleep better. Invest in an app or a new mattress and pillow, come up with an action plan for breathing and lighting in the room. If you come up with a good routine, let me know--I'll write a follow-up articles incorporating your ideas for sleeping soundly.

Published on: May 22, 2017