Sunday Night Blues 

The Sunday Night Blues phenomenon refers to feeling low (experiencing low mood) on a  Sunday when thinking about one’s impending working week. There is a lack of research into  this topic, and it is hoped that exploring the Sunday Night Blues will help provide a platform  for mental health discussion among employers and their employees. 

This report outlines results of a small-scale study with fifty employees recruited through social  networks (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter) in June 2022. The study took place over two weekends: the  Queen’s Jubilee weekend and the following weekend. This preliminary study was conducted  to inform a larger research study that will commence in October 2022.


Participants completed eight brief online surveys hosted on Qualtrics. Table 1 shows the timepoints at which the surveys were completed. Participants provided information about  their mood, sedentary behaviour, physical activity, and experiences in the workplace.  


Changes in Mood 

Participants experienced a dip in pleasantness from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning,  followed by a positive rebound effect on Monday evening (see left-hand side of Figure 1). 

However, this pattern of responses was more pronounced during the Queen’s Platinum  Jubilee weekend when compared to a standard two-day weekend, in alignment with research  showing that people feel down after a holiday.

Participants reported similar energy scores  across all timepoints, apart from Monday morning following the standard two-day weekend. 

Sunday Night Blues: Preliminary Findings 


Figure 1. Pleasantness (left) and energy (right) scores (M and 95% CI) across all timepoints.  Note. S = Sunday, M = Monday. 

Participants were also encouraged to provide contextual detail during each of the online  surveys. The additional time spent away from the workplace as part of the Jubilee weekend  was generally appraised positively:  

“It has been a four-day weekend so recharged and caught up and  had fun and now ready to return to work” (Jubilee Sunday, 14:00) 

However, the prospect of returning to the work environment was a concern for some employees: 

“I know I have work in the morning, and I almost don’t want to go  to bed as I know as soon as I do that’s the weekend over” 

(Jubilee Sunday, 20:00) 

The Jubilee weekend prompted a higher number of high energy/low pleasantness mood  states, such as anxiety, when compared to the standard weekend: 

“Down at [the] prospect of going back to work, worried about  volume which will hit me tomorrow” (Jubilee Sunday, 14:00)

Sedentary Behaviour & Physical Activity 

The upper left panel of Figure 2 shows participants sitting behaviour over both weekends. As  expected, participants reported greater sitting time on Mondays when compared to Sundays.  

The upper right panel shows participants screen time and as expected, large differences in  scores were observed from Sundays to Mondays. However, participants reported more  screen time on the first Sunday (i.e., during the Jubilee weekend) when compared to the  second Sunday (i.e., during the standard weekend). 

Figure 2. Sitting time (upper left), screen time (upper right), and daily steps (lower panel)  across both weekend types (M and 95% CI). 

Future Directions 

This work represents an initial phase of research into the Sunday Night Blues. A replication study with a larger sample is required to draw firmer conclusions than those presented  herein. Accordingly, readers are encouraged to view these preliminary findings with  appropriate caution.

If you would like to participate in the next study into the  Sunday Night Blues phenomenon (October 2022), you can sign up here. 


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