It’s a regular occurrence for many of us: Friday arrives, we hype up the weekend, we go out and socialise with mates (as best as we can during the current pandemic, anyway) and when our alarm goes off on Monday morning, we can think of a million other things we’d rather be doing than working.

But while you may blame your lack of motivation (and will to live) on the alcohol or deep fried food you consumed over the weekend, you should actually be looking at how many hours of sleep you got. At least, that’s according to American nutrition coach Max Lugavere. In a recent Instagram post, the author of The Genius Life claims we should be “consistent with our sleep,” and adds that the feelings we feel on a Monday morning can be likened to jet lag.

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A post shared by Max Lugavere (@maxlugavere)

“If you go to bed every weeknight at 11pm but stay up until 3am every Friday and Saturday (not to mention late night eating), you’ve essentially crossed time zones for the weekend, causing you to feel literal jet lag every Monday. And you wonder why Monday’s are difficult!” he captions his post.

“Emerging research points to a rhythmic flow for nearly every one of our biological functions. This includes metabolism, immunity, and cognitive abilities that are important for feeling sharp and energized!⁣”

There’s certainly some weight to his argument, as we’ve previously discussed the importance of keeping a healthy circadian rhythm – or body clock, if you will – which refers to the natural biological process your body goes through on a 24-hour basis.

It has been claimed that one of the factors that has the biggest impact on your circadian rhythm is light, as when your eyes are exposed to it when you wake up, your body suppresses melatonin – the hormone responsible for our sleep-wake cycle – and releases it after the sun goes down. If, for example, you normally wake up at around 6 a.m., roughly around the time the sun rises, your body literally interprets this as the start of a new day. And so, when the sun goes down, melatonin is released, telling your body it’s time to start shutting down.

So if you stay out partying until the early hours of the morning at the weekends, you may be lucky enough to see the sunrise. But, this can essentially reset your body clock, since you pushed through the period of time when your body has expected to be sleeping. Put simply, it’s literally a lack of sleep that then causes you to hate Mondays, because your body is a little confused, and needs to get back into the (circadian) rhythm of things.

This lack of sleep can then have a significant impact on your ability to work, as a previous study conducted in Finland found night owls – someone who stays up late – are “twice as likely to underperform at work.” Although it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily equate to being a bad thing, as many businesses can benefit from having multiple ‘types’ of people: some people who are productive in the morning, and some who are productive in the evening, meaning they can finish work in order to meet a deadline, for example.

Of course, another reason why we all agree that Mondays suck, is because it tends to signal an end to a few days of fun, and we now have to get serious and knuckle down before we can do it all again. If only the whole world could adopt a similar approach to Iceland and introduce a four-day working week.

Wishful thinking.

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