Study: Majority of Americans come down with a case of the ‘Sunday scaries’ every week

4 min readJan 17, 2020
A new study conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by luxury home brand Charisma looked at potential causes of the “Sunday scaries” and ways in which respondents work to fight it. (Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash)

The “Sunday scaries” set in at 3:58 p.m., according to new research.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 Americans, which found 88% of respondents have a feeling of anxiety on Sunday when thinking about Monday morning.

The survey pinpointed when that feeling starts and, as it turns out, respondents begin to dread the upcoming week as the clock approaches four in the afternoon.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by luxury home brand Charisma, the survey also looked at potential causes of the “Sunday scaries” and ways in which respondents work to fight it.

Results revealed that it takes the average respondent about two hours to unwind after work on a Friday, but they then do slightly over three hours of unpaid work over the weekend.

This includes checking work emails (45%), looking over presentations (38%) and taking a work call (31%) — as well as thinking about work an average of six times.

In addition to that, the average respondent spends three and a half hours on “life admin,” which includes chores (48%), errands like grocery shopping (46%) and budgeting (46%).

This adds up to almost nine hours of the weekend lost to work and chores — which might be why 72% of respondents agree: The weekend never feels long enough to get everything done.

Interestingly enough, the top way respondents fight the “Sunday scaries” is by taking time to themselves during the weekend (44%).

The average respondent sneaks away for about four hours of “me time” over the course of the weekend — time they take to binge their favorite shows (50%), read a book (40%) or pamper themselves with a bath (37%).

And 27% like to use their “me time” to take a snooze, curled up in their cozy bedding.

Two-thirds (67%) agree taking time alone helps them to feel more prepared to handle the week ahead.

“Taking time for yourself over the weekend is an important way to prepare for the week ahead,” said Lauren Steinke, SVP of Home at Iconix Brand Group, Inc., parent company of Charisma. “Whether that be watching TV or taking a bath to relax and take your mind off all the other tasks to be done — and we’re always striving to help people relax at home with our luxurious bath and bed products.”

Another way respondents work to mitigate the “Sunday scaries” is by making sure to get a full night’s rest on Friday and Saturday (42%) — a noble aim, but not something all respondents are good at doing.

Sixty-eight percent admit to staying up later than they should on Sunday evening, and 71% say their sleep schedule is often messed up by the end of the weekend.

“Getting quality sleep during the weekend can help you be more productive with your to-do list and reenergize you for the upcoming week,” added Steinke. “As a luxury home brand, Charisma believes that having the right bedding plays an important role in ensuring restful sleep, which translates to more productive Mondays, whether that’s at work or otherwise.”


  1. Take time for myself during the weekend 44%
  2. Make sure to get a full night’s rest on Friday and Saturday 42%
  3. Use the end of the day Friday to get organized for Monday 35%
  4. Use the weekend to get ahead of what I need to do during the week 34%
  5. Take a “digital detox” for part of the weekend 21%


  1. Watching my favorite show(s) or movie 50%
  2. Reading a book or magazine 40%
  3. Taking a bath 37%
  4. Getting a massage 34%
  5. Listening to a podcast 33%
  6. Taking a nap 27%
  7. Exercise 27%
  8. Treat myself 21%
  9. Do a hobby 18%
  10. Take time to catch up with a friend 18%

Uses of time over the weekend:

  • Unwinding: 1 hour and 56 minutes
  • Unpaid work: 3 hours and 8 minutes
  • “Life admin”: 3 hours and 31 minutes

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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