All too often, the weekend seems to be over in the blink of an eye. And before you know it, you’ll be facing the start of your week. Monday often marks the beginning of a 5-day stretch of work or school, accompanied by a long list of various duties. With responsibilities looming in the week ahead, you may feel a growing sense of anxiety on your last day off.

There’s actually a name for this phenomenon – the Sunday scares. According to a Linkedin survey, 80% of 30,000 participants reported having this feeling before the start of the week. Sunday fears can even manifest as physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, rapid heart rate, sweating, and poor sleep.

Sleep plays an important role in preparing you physically and mentally for a successful day. A good night’s sleep has the power to boost your mood, improve decision-making, support knowledge retention, promote a hard-working immune system, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety are huge obstacles to sleep, and you may not be able to get proper shut-eye on Sunday night after crawling under the covers.

Below, learn how a few small steps can help ease feelings of Sunday dreads and allow you to get the full night’s sleep you deserve. For more help de-stressing at night, here’s how to tackle anxiety before bed and how to create the perfect sleep playlist.

See more: The best mattress of 2022

Start a journal

Before you go to bed, try organizing your thoughts and priorities in a journal. Daily journaling can help you de-stress, relax, and make sense of the tasks or responsibilities you need to take care of. It’s a way to express your feelings and manage your anxiety before you go to bed with your bedtime thoughts.

Practice yoga or meditation before bed

Practicing mindfulness through yoga or meditation can help center your thoughts, promote relaxation, and give you the ability to effectively deal with your feelings of anxiety.

Yoga before bed can relieve your feelings of stress and at the same time increase melatonin levels to promote better sleep. Even deep breathing alone is a useful tool to promote calmness, as it can alter blood pressure and reduce the production of stress hormones. By easing your worries, you allow your mind to relax and drift off to sleep.

Exercise during the day

Physical activity increases endorphins and neurotransmitters that promote happiness and can help relieve pain. In turn, this mood boost helps combat feelings of stress, anxiety and Sunday fears to help you sleep better.

See more: The best mattress for hot sleepers

Try these natural stress relievers

Woman keeping a journal and drinking herbal tea next to a houseplant

Drinking tea can help relieve stress and promote better sleep.

Getty Images/MundusImages/Free

Instead of relying on melatonin, ZZZquil, or other sleeping pills, there are many natural remedies you can use to ease anxiety and promote sleepiness.

  • Herbal tea (magnolia, chamomile, valerian root)
  • Aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and jasmine
  • CBD oil, creams or gummies
  • Eat nutritious foods like oats, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts and free-range eggs

Remember, it’s okay to say no.

Prioritize your most important tasks and put others that don’t require as much focus on the back burner. Don’t feel obligated to take on too many responsibilities if you can’t fit them on your plate. We can often feel overwhelmed or anxious before a week begins when it’s filled to the brim with tasks to complete.

Decline additional requests if they are not of high priority and you think it will overload your capacity. Taking control of your workload can help reduce the stress of a busy schedule.

Make Monday a day to get excited about

Instead of dreading Monday, make it a day to look forward to. Plan a fun date with a colleague or friend at a local hot spot. If you prefer to play solo, you can take a day to treat yourself to a nice dinner or dessert after your duties.

If you’re having trouble sleeping and looking for more help, learn why ditching the alarm can promote better sleep and the top four exercises you can do before bed.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.