Jamie Schneider

mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor

By Jamie Schneider

mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.

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Image by Alba Vitta / Stocksy

June 22, 2023

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Chances are, you’re familiar with the Sunday scaries—you know, that familiar pang of anxiety you get before kicking off another workweek. Well, we’ll see your Sunday blues and raise you menacing Mondays. 

According to new research presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester, serious heart attacks are more likely to occur on a Monday. Coincidence? Scientists think not. 


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The link between Mondays & heart attacks 

Researchers analyzed hospitalization records from 10,528 patients who suffered the most severe type of heart attack—an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI)—over a five-year period.

After examining those records, they noticed a significant increase in the rate of STEMI heart attacks at the start of the workweek, with a 13% increase specifically on Mondays. 

Why Mondays, you might ask? “The cause is likely multifactorial; however, based on what we know from previous studies, it is reasonable to presume a circadian element,” notes Dublin-based cardiologist Jack Laffan in a news release

As you may know, sleep is integral for your overall well-being; poor quality and inadequate amounts of sleep can impact cardiovascular and metabolic health1

And having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time is essential to keeping a regulated circadian rhythm. When your sleep schedule is all over the place (like, say, when you sleep in on the weekends), your body doesn’t know when to produce melatonin, the hormone that signals that it’s time to go to sleep. As a result, your circadian clocks may suffer most on Sunday nights—which can impact your heart health come Monday morning. 

What to do about it 

Heart attacks may be more common on Mondays, but protecting your heart health is important every day of the week—here are some daily tips: 


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Regulate your circadian rhythm.

Try to standardize the time you go to bed and wake up, if you can. “Ideally your wake and rise time should not vary more than an hour (or even a half-hour) each day,” naturopathic sleep doctor Catherine Darley, N.D., previously told mbg—even on the weekends! 

It can be so tempting to treat yourself with extra hours of sleep, but it may harm your circadian rhythm in the long run. By waking up at the same time each day, you’ll get sleepy at a predictable time each evening. 

If you need an extra nudge to help your eyes grow heavy, try slotting in a (melatonin-free) sleep-supporting supplement, like one of these expert-backed formulas.


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Research shows that regular exercise can help manage blood pressure4, and another recent study5 found that the amount of fat-free mass (like muscle) women carry may play a bigger role in heart health than body fat or total body weight. 

Translation? Muscle mass may influence heart health in women more than body weight and body fat.

We always say that the best exercise is the one that you’ll do, but try to fold in some strength training exercises if you can. Here’s a helpful trainer-approved guide to get you started. 

The takeaway 

“Menacing Mondays” are a thing, especially when it comes to heart health. That doesn’t mean you should dread (or fear) Mondays forever—just try to optimize your cardiovascular health however you can. These tips above should help you get started, or see here for some women-specific advice.