Why we are more tired on Mondays

Struggling to find motivation on Mondays. (Shutterstock)

The scientific reason behind the fact that most of us are struggling on the first day of the week is called a social jet lag, and the only one to blame is yourself.

Is your mood on Mondays not as good as on the other days of the week and are you having trouble finding your #MondayMotivation because you feel so tired? The scientific reason behind the fact that most of us are struggling on the first day of the week is called a social jet lag.

And the only one to blame is yourself.

This social jet lag is caused by not sticking to the same sleep-wake schedule every day. Staying up late on Friday or Saturday evenings and sleeping in the morning after messes with our internal body clock. You are basically putting your body into a different time-zone over the weekend and pay the price for it on Mondays.

Read: Being present at work doesn't matter if you're disengaged

A variation of one hour in your sleeping time won’t have any effect but anything more than a two hour difference and your internal body clock can be thrown off by at least 45 minutes. So thinking you could catch up on some sleep during the weekend will leave you feeling even more drained than before. This so called ‘sleep debt’ can simply be dealt with by getting around eight hours of sleep every night, which is the recommended amount of sleep for adults, during the next couple of days because the brain rests more efficiently when you are feeling tired. The most effective way to get those eight hours of sleep is to go to bed earlier than you normally would and set your alarm at the usual time.

Taking a nap during the day to gain some energy won’t help either. Sleeping for too long during the course of the day will keep you up at night. If you really don’t want to miss out on those day-time naps, try scheduling them between noon and 4 p.m. and don’t let them last longer than 30 minutes so they won’t interfere with your sleep at night. If you keep the naps short enough, they even have a lot of advantages.

Read: Why we should all be sleeping at work

Other things you might want to consider when trying to get your rhythm back on track is drinking less alcohol, banning television-, computer-, and mobile screens right before bedtime, not drinking coffee after 2 p.m., and the most horrible sounding tip of them all: don’t dare hit the snooze button. Research has shown that those few precious minutes of extra sleeping time often leave you more tired than if you would have gotten straight out of bed.

Are the Monday blues bothering you or is it really your work that’s exhausting you? Find South African companies that treat their employees better and apply for a job there today.