A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that having the "Sunday Scaries" may be a real phenomenon, not just Urban Dictionary slang – especially for younger generations. Survey data show that more than a quarter of respondents (26%) – including about a third of Generation Z (32%) and Millennials (34%) – always, almost always or often have a harder time falling asleep on Sunday nights compared with other nights of the week.
What keeps people up at night? In the same survey, 73% of Americans said they have lost sleep due to worries about work.
Work-related anxiety and stress can lead to insufficient sleep, which may result in harmful health consequences. Proactively managing work-related stressors can help you achieve healthier sleep and a more successful workday."
Dr. John Saito, sleep medicine specialist and member of the AASM's Public Awareness Advisory Committee
While survey data from the AASM finds that a majority (64%) of Americans are using sleeping aids like melatonin (27%) and marijuana or CBD (20%) to help them fall asleep or stay asleep at night, the healthiest way to manage sleeplessness caused by work-related stress is to practice good sleep hygiene habits.
To avoid experiencing the "Sunday Scaries," consider adding these habits into your daily routine:
- Prepare for the week ahead by completing tasks throughout the weekend, so you don't feel overwhelmed on Monday morning.
- Spread out weekly chores, such as cleaning, grocery shopping and doing laundry during the week. Don't wait until Sunday to begin household responsibilities.
- Take time to wind down before going to bed. Read a book, journal or take a bath to help yourself relax.
- Unplug from electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
The AASM recommends that most adults should get at least seven hours of nightly sleep to promote optimal health. To help select an appropriate bedtime for your schedule, use the AASM's Online Bedtime Calculator.