Oh Sundays, how we love thee. From sleep-ins, to slow meanders along the beach, to deliciously long brunch affairs and cosy couch sessions basking in the afternoon sun with space to just read and ‘be.’ There’s something so good about Sunday’s you nearly can’t fault them… that is, until that rather unwelcome pit in the stomach appears. Suddenly, the whole ‘Sunday well spent brings a week of content’ may have less validity to it after all. A new survey from The Sleep Judge revealing 81 per cent of Americans (or 3 out of 4) get the ‘Sunday Scaries’ aka—Sunday night anxiety—the night before returning to work on Monday.
Said to be triggered by the hormones associated with work-related stress and dread, the ‘Sunday Scaries’ are a legitimate anxiety concern, with 57 per cent experiencing it of an evening and 63 per cent saying it leads to a reckless sleep that night. Why so angsty? Well naturally, knowing ‘Monday-itis’ is set to kick in is enough to have people fearing the worst, with 62 per cent agreeing Monday is by far the most dreaded day of the week. Dread and restless sleep aside, the side effects that stem from getting the ‘Sunday Scaries’ is much more debilitating than we often care to let on. Within the survey results, people reported experiencing everything from mental health issues—including anxiety (59 per cent), depressive mood (39 per cent), increased irritability (30 per cent) and nightmares through to physical conditions ranging from insomnia, headaches, panic, body aches, paranoia, accelerated heart rate, nausea, crying, heart palpitations and breathing problems. Sound all too familiar? Then it’s safe to say we know the culprit behind it too… work. Out of 1000 people surveyed, 95 per cent blame work stress for their added anxiety, along with 89 per cent being dissatisfied with their job and 75 per cent admitting they don’t get along with their boss.
So what industries are suffering the worst? Well, according to the survey, Education, Law, Finance and Insurance come out on top at 86 per cent, with Marketing, IT, Government and Retail closely following at 83-85 per cent (for a full breakdown, see link). Of those feeling the inability to cope with the ‘Sunday Scaries’, the bigger question is, how are we handling it? Sadly, with a lot less self-care and a whole lot more self-medicating it seems. Of those who admitted to drinking on Sunday to cope, 89 per cent said they experienced heightened anxiety and of those who drank all weekend in the lead up to Monday, 46 per cent experienced higher anxiety levels versus only 21 per cent who didn’t drink but still felt anxious. So then, what does the culmination of all this mean?
Well, when Monday comes around not only are people hyper-anxious, sleep-deprived and potentially a little hazy and off their game, they’re so highly stressed they need to call in sick, with 38 per cent surveyed admitting the symptoms resulted in a stay at home day. Yet there is still hope! For those surveyed who admit to feeling the ‘Sunday Scaries’ but wanting to manage it in a proactive, healthy way, exercise was seen to come out on top as the best Sunday blues cure with 29 per cent admitting it helped relieve their woes, followed closely by TV and movie sessions (hello Netflix!), family and friend time and outdoor activities! The take-away here? Next time Sunday rolls around, lace up your trainers and swap afternoon sun for a sunset walk for a sure fire way to launch into a ‘scary-free’ eve.