According to new research, Sunday is by far the cruelest night of the week for those who have trouble sleeping.
Three times as many of us sleep badly on Sunday as on any other single night, says a survey of 4,279 Americans and Britons conducted on behalf of the meditation app, Calm.com.
Monday is the next worst night for sleep trouble, named by 8% of all poll respondents, compared to three times as many (23%) identifying Sunday, while Thursday night is when fewest (2%) struggle to sleep.
“Sunday may be the day of rest but it seems the night of restlessness,” says Michael Acton Smith, co-founder of Calm, which many users rely on to help them sleep. “Thursday, in contrast, seems the true night of rest.”
Half (49%) of all poll respondents felt able to name a particular night of the week when they found it harder to slee p. And nearly half (46%) of these in turn named Sunday, compared to just one sixth (17%) naming Monday, the next worst – and only 5% who named Thursday.
The biggest reason that so many people sleep badly on Sundays is that the weekend is when they throw off their normal sleep routine, says Dr Steve Orma, a clinical psychologist and insomnia specialist, who himself delivers a talk on sleep science and advice for Calm users – as one of the app’s new 30+ Sleep Stories and essays.
Anxiety about returning to work on Monday might sometimes be a third factor, says Dr Orma.
This was one of the reasons Calm recently launched its own new natural sleep aid, in the form of bedtime stories for grown-ups called Sleep Stories. Calm’s 30+ sleep-inducing tales which mix soothing words, music and sound-effects to help adult listeners wind down and drift off to dreamland. They have now been listened to over 10 million times since their launch at the end of last year.