The 'Sunday Scaries' Are Real. Experts Suggest These Tips For Better Sleep Can Help

The "Sunday scaries" is a term that is used to refer to feelings of stress, anxiety, and trouble sleeping in anticipation of the work week. While there is no clinical term or diagnosis for this phenomenon, new research suggests that it might be more than just Urban Dictionary slang, especially for younger people (via HealthDay News). A recent survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that 32% of Gen Z respondents and 34% of Millennials always, almost always, or often have a more difficult time falling asleep on Sunday night compared to other days of the week.

The "Sunday scaries" aren't just limited to younger generations, however. The survey also revealed that 64% of Americans of all ages use sleep aids like melatonin, marijuana, or cannabidiol (CBD) to help fall asleep at night. 79% of Americans reported having difficulty falling asleep on Sundays at least occasionally. 

"Work-related anxiety and stress can lead to insufficient sleep, which may result in harmful health consequences," said Dr. John Saito, a sleep medicine specialist and member of the AASM's Public Awareness Advisory Committee, said in a news release.

How to combat the Sunday scaries

Managing your weekday stress and finding ways to relieve your anxiety over the weekend can help combat the "Sunday scaries." According to Insider, one way you can help reduce anticipatory stress and anxiety ahead of the work week is by journaling. Believe it or not, writing down your thoughts and feelings can actually help calm your nerves and relieve any dread you may have about going to work the next day.

It's also good to make time for exercise and physical activity during the day. In fact, 20 to 30 minutes of moderate or low-intensity exercise during the day can help reduce stress levels. You can do this by engaging in aerobic exercises, like running or cycling, or low-impact workouts, like yoga.

In addition, creating a sleep ritual before bed can help you fall and stay asleep more easily. To create a more sleep-friendly environment, turn off your phone and electronic devices an hour before you go to bed and keep them out of your bedroom. It can also be helpful to dim the lights and meditate before bed. Doing this every night can help give you a more consistent and reliable sleep schedule.