UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Having a case of the Mondays might just be detrimental to your health. There may be something more to the stress and anxiety many of us feel come Monday morning. Studies show that the risk of heart attack on a Monday is about 20 percent higher for adult men and 15 percent higher for adult women. Below are some contributing factors to the increased risk.
Many workers suffer a significant increase in blood pressure as they return to the office after the weekend. High blood pressure is associated with a greater risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke, and the results could help to explain why there are more heart attacks on Mondays than at any other time of the week. Some people may find adjusting from weekend mode to work mode difficult. The change can result in stress and anxiety, both of which are risk factors for heart attack.
Higher Morning Risk
Most heart attacks occur on Monday between 4:00 am and 10:00 am, making Monday morning the most dangerous time for your heart than any other six hour period. Why not Monday afternoon or Monday evening? The morning is more dangerous because your body goes through some stressful changes upon waking up. Your heart rate and blood pressure shoot up. Your blood is also more prone to clotting in the morning, which is when the blood platelets are at their stickiest. Stress hormones are released in the mornings, especially so on mornings when you are headed back to work. If you’re running a few minutes behind or fighting traffic, these hormones pump out at an even faster rate which narrows blood vessels and forces your heart to work harder.
While most researchers blame the stress of returning to work for the increased risk of heart attack on Monday, a few studies have suggested that additional factors may be involved. The Monday peak in deaths from heart attacks may be partly attributable to increased levels of drinking during the weekend. Many studies have told us that the occasional drink could be beneficial for our heart, but those studies were referring to one or two drinks per day. If you are packing all of your drinking into your weekend, you are more likely to experience a Monday heart attack than someone who enjoys a glass of wine each night. Researchers have found the greater the amount of alcohol consumed on drinking days (Friday and Saturday), the greater the risk of death from heart attack. Combine this with the usual stress a Monday can provide and it’s no wonder risk of heart attack shoots up.
You can contain Monday syndrome by limiting alcohol consumption, getting enough sleep Sunday night and using stress reducing techniques. Other lifestyle changes such as a proper diet and exercise can also help lessen the risk of heart attack. Don’t let having a case of the Mondays keep you from outliving your term life insurance policy.