"I could do with another break to recover," goes the tired back-to-work cliché.

It's the kind of desperate office small talk that would be unforgivable, if it hadn't been scientifically proven to be true.

A recent study has shown it takes at least three days to "get back to normal" after a break from routine.

The research showed that having returned from the beach it take at least 72 hours for travellers to get back into the swing of things.

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Do not disturb stickers on an Emarites A380: Back to work
Do not disturb stickers on an Emarites A380: Back to work "dread" costs travellers more sleep than jet lag. Photo / Getty Images

That holiday recovery period extends to about 4 days after breaks of more than a fortnight.

The survey that polled 2000 adult holidaymakers found that sleeping patterns are altered by jet lag and a relaxed holiday routine and it can two to three nights to return to normal.

Sixty per cent of travellers identified the morning routine as the hardest part of returning, after time away.

For the remaining forty per cent it's the back to work "dread" that has them losing sleep, long before jet lag takes effect.

 Just 13 per cent say they are disciplined enough to maintain their sleep routine while travelling. Photo / Giannis Alexopoulos, Getty Images
Just 13 per cent say they are disciplined enough to maintain their sleep routine while travelling. Photo / Giannis Alexopoulos, Getty Images

The disheartening findings, compiled by the market research company OnePoll, showed that a third of respondents felt it was (almost) not worth going on holiday in the first place due the stress either side of their time abroad.

How to beat the post-holiday blues

It's all about sleep. While not everyone sleeps better while away, the research also polled travellers for their top tips on beating holiday burn out.

A few travellers (around 13 per cent) say they are disciplined enough to maintain their bedtime routine while away.

For the rest of the respondents, over 20 per cent said an afternoon nap is a must.

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Surprisingly nearly one in ten of the respondents said they take their own pillow on holiday, to keep a certain quality of shut-eye.

A holiday nap is a good way to maintain sleep, an ensure you return from your travels refreshed. Photo / Satoshi Takahashi, Getty Images
A holiday nap is a good way to maintain sleep, an ensure you return from your travels refreshed. Photo / Satoshi Takahashi, Getty Images

"Taking time to unwind and relax is vital for overall physical and mental health, but many people may struggle pre and post-holiday," Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll told the Daily Mail, when asked about the post-holiday blues.

"Coupled with the stress that comes with preparing for a holiday, whether that's making sure we get all of the packing done, or handing over workloads to colleagues to handle in your absence, it can sometimes feel like it's not even worth having a holiday.

"So, although holidays can be great at making us forget about the toils of day-to-day life, many of us find it hard to readjust when they're over."