Science Can Explain Our Monday Blues

Trouble waking up, eye-bags, and plenty of coffee sum up dreaded Monday mornings. Research has found that Monday’s are so depressing that most of us don’t crack a smile until after 11 a.m.  Here’s why we hate Mondays.

Change in Sleep Patterns

Since most of us don’t sleep enough through the week, we tend to try and make it up on the weekend. But according to scientists, sleeping in even an hour or so on the weekend can throw off your body clock. Extra sleep on the weekend actually makes you more tired on Monday since your body clock hasn't had time to re-adjust.

Need to Socialize

Our tribal instincts date back to caveman days.  After the weekend, we need to reconnect to our “workplace tribe”, which usually involves extra long coffee breaks with co-workers to gossip and chat. If we don’t, we might feel out of place.

emotional Change

Scientists have found that upon asking people to record their emotions at regular intervals, Mondays are no more stressful than any other workday, but if you ask people to remember which day was the worst they will always say Monday.  This is because the emotional shift from Sunday (lazy, relaxed day) to Monday (start of the workweek) is greater than any other time during the week.  And Friday does well because we are excitedly anticipating the weekend. 

You Don’t Feel Your Best on Monday and It Shows

If a night out over the weekend includes an extra late night filled with drinking, followed by a late fast-food munch, you’re likely to feel less attractive on Monday. A night out can take a toll on your body, which can explain why one study found that American women of all ages feel the least attractive on Mondays than any other day.

You Weigh More on Monday

In addition to sleep cycles, our bodies have weight loss cycles.  Most of us tend to lose weight during the week, while gaining weight on the weekend.  One study found a clear pattern in weekly weight fluctuation with higher weight after the weekends, specifically Sunday and Monday.

You Don’t Like Your Job

According to a Gallup poll, 70% of people either hate their job or are completely disengaged at work. This feeling contributes to the “Monday Blues”, which explains why most job applications are submitted on Tuesdays; a depressing Monday at the office might influence ones decision to apply for a new job on Tuesday. 

Here are a few tips to make Mondays suck less:

  • Don't sleep in too long on the weekend... Your body will thank you.
  • Start preparing for the week ahead on Sunday - Preparing a work to-do list will help mentally prepare you for the upcoming week.  Come Monday morning you will be ready to take on the week! 
  • Don't overdo it on food or alcohol over the weekend.
  • Find a job you love. (Although easier said than done!)