Do You Have The Sunday Night Syndrome?

By Dr. Larina Kase

Do you get the Sunday blues, thinking about the weekend being over?

Do you get a pit in your stomach on Sundays and find yourself nervously anticipating the week ahead?

Do you have sleep problems on Sunday nights, and dread that horrible feeling when you can’t sleep?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might experience The Sunday Syndrome™.

Here’s What It Looks Like

You’ve had a great weekend. On Saturday morning your kid’s team won the soccer game, you had a great romantic dinner out on Saturday night, yet now at 4:30pm on Sunday afternoon, you look at the clock and a feeling of anxiety comes over you.

Almost immediately your mood turns to impatient, worried and stressed. Over and over, you mentally calculate how much time you have left before going to bed, which you dread because you know you’ll toss and turn as you restlessly try to fall asleep.

From Free and Relieved on Friday to Miserable on Sundays

The Sunday Syndrome™ is also called the Sunday Night Syndrome, but I call it The Sunday Syndrome™ because it often sets in on Sunday afternoon, sometimes even in the morning. It’s both a result and a cause of stress.

Not a medical or psychiatric disorder, it’s a collection of normal feelings and challenges that many people experience. It entails the 3 S’s of Sundays: stress, sleep problems, and sadness, and can be a sign of anxiety about your job.

On Sunday night, we morn the loss of the weekend and the time we thought we had to get all of our weekend goals accomplished. Like the teenager who waits to do his homework until 10pm, we happily put off our chores until Sunday, not wanting to taint the pristine Friday night or Saturday. Add your anticipation about the hectic week ahead and you have a recipe for distress.

The resulting anxiety affects your last hours of relaxation, family time, Sunday night dinner, and sleep routines. It makes those tough Monday mornings even tougher.

How to Make Sundays Enjoyable and Relaxing Again

I used to suffer from The Sunday Syndrome. Sometimes it even hit me on Saturday nights. I’ve learned how to manage it, and I’ve helped my clients make Sundays more fun and productive. Here is my five-step solution to the Sunday Syndrome:

1: Straighten up your work area as you leave on Fridays to remove the stress of Monday morning catch up. Remind yourself on Sunday that your desk is clean and ready for you. Picture a clean start, beginning the week feeling refreshed and caught up.

2: Schedule your errands, work and fun activities without leaving all the stressful ones for Sunday. People typically over-schedule their weekends or don’t schedule anything. Instead, use planning to work for you and motivated you to get the difficult stuff done on Saturday and leave Sunday for the fun.

3: Set the alarm for the same time everyday including Saturday and Sunday. People who sleep later on weekends frequently experience The Sunday Syndrome when they cannot fall asleep on Sunday night. If you want to sleep in on the weekends, make it no more than 30 minutes. Or let Saturday be your sleep in day and be sure to wake up at the same time on Sunday as you will on Monday.

4: Savor Sundays by planning an enjoyable activity for yourself or your family. People get depressed and dread the end of their weekend, but this fun event replaces dread with excitement. If you get depresses, schedule something interactive and enjoyable. If you get agitated and on edge, plan something relaxing and soothing.

5: Sleep more soundly on Sunday night. Research on sleep disorders shows that taking a warm shower two hours before bedtime relaxes you and raises your body temperature. Then when it comes down again, you feel sleepy. Once in bed, turn the clock out of your sightline to remove the reminder of your Monday morning 6 am alarm worries.

If you’re curious to learn more about The Sunday Syndrome and whether you have it, take a complimentary assessment at

Before you know it, you’ll be on your ways to enjoying every day of the week—even Sundays!

Author's Bio: 

Larina Kase, PsyD, MBA is a business psychologist, President of Performance & Success Coaching, speaker on stress and anxiety, and author of Anxious 9 to 5: How to Beat Worry, Stop Second Guessing Yourself, and Work with Confidence. Get a book chapter and tips at