A New Survey Says 81 Percent of People Feel Anxious on Sunday Nights
This survey proves the Sunday slump is way too real — here's the best way to cope.
Sunday scaries, Sunday night blues, Sunday stress—no matter what you call it, pre-Monday anxiety is a real phenomenon that seems to affect the majority of American adults. But what’s the deal with Sundays? Even after the loveliest weekend, the knowledge that Monday is just around the corner creeps in, causing us to waste the rest of the day worrying and spend the half the night lying awake. To get to the bottom of why everyone feels so sad on Sundays, online mattress and sleep product review platform Sleep Judge polled 1,000 fully employed adults about their inevitable Sunday mood and what they do to cope.
It turns out Sunday scaries are an almost-ubiquitous experience among American professionals across generations and industries: 81 percent of survey-takers said they experience heightened anxiety on Sunday in anticipation of Monday. And yes, work worries are the main trigger, as 95 percent of people who experience Sunday anxiety say it’s caused by anticipatory work stress. So it’s not surprising that 63 percent of respondents said Sunday night is their most restless night of sleep, and that 62 percent dubbed Monday the most dreaded day of the week. And get this: The scaries are so, well, scary, that 39 percent of people admit they’ve called out sick on a Monday due to Sunday symptoms like debilitating anxiety, poor sleep/insomnia, depressive moods, and even headaches.
The majority of people get hit the hardest on Sunday evenings (57 percent), but it’s not uncommon for nagging feelings of anxiety to set in Sunday afternoon (29 percent) and even start as early as Sunday morning (15 percent). But there has to be a better way to cope than wasting away as a ball of stress on your couch—what’s the point of having Sundays off if you can’t enjoy it, right? Sleep Judge asked participants to name their favorite ways to relieve pre-work-week dread, and exercise was the top answer by far: 29 percent of people fit a workout into their Sunday routine to get moving and boost their mood. Other stress-busting activities include watching a movie or TV show, spending time with friends/family, getting outside, and crossing chores off the to-do list.
Something that won't help your Sunday blues? Drinking heavily all weekend. The highest percentage of participants who suffer from the scaries (46 percent) were those who get drunk Friday, Saturday, and Sunday—compared to those who drink zero to one night a weekend (21 and 26 percent respectively). So while a nice mimosa at brunch or glass of wine at dinner can help take the edge off, having too many cocktails can increase anxious thoughts and mess with your sleep. Instead, distract your mind from the impending work week with active leisure, like such as doing yoga, going to the movies, taking a bike ride, or meeting for book club.
If your Sunday blues become a longer term problem than mild uneasiness before a busy work week, try one of these 10 ways to cope with anxiety, straight from a psychologist.