From heart-attack Monday to car-crash Friday, what each day could mean for your health

WHEN it comes to feeling good, not all days are created equal.

And it’s not just your mood that can be affected by what day of the week it is – each one carries its own risks, from a higher chance of being struck by a migraine to a greater risk of a heart attack.

But it’s not all bad news. Want to lose weight or give up smoking? It turns out that making the change on specific days can make it more likely you’ll hit your goal.

And, when it comes to having fun between the sheets, timing it right could pay dividends!


It seems there’s a good reason for the dreaded Monday blues. The stress of going back to work, on top of too much indulging over the weekend, means it’s the day you’re most likely to suffer a heart attack.

A study in the British Medical Journal found the risk could be up to 20% higher on the first day of the week. And if you thought it might be time to kick-start a healthier diet, according to experts, cutting back on food suddenly after the weekend will leave you feeling deprived and
frustrated. And that means you’re more likely to fall off the healthy-eating wagon.

But Mondays aren’t all bad. It’s the most popular day to quit smoking, according to one study.*

Stubbing out the habit isn’t easy, but with Google searches relating to quitting 25% higher on Mondays, experts say that if you can harness that willpower, you’ll maximise your chances.

Plus, a study of 4 million NHS procedures found patients have the best chance of recovering quickly if their op is on a Monday, because doctors and nurses are less tired and more alert.


Tempted to call in sick? Chances are you’ll wait until Tuesday, according to analysis of 15,000 sick days over 12 months by HR software developer Breathe.

It found the five most common reasons workers give are colds and flu (38%), stomach aches and food poisoning (29%). If you ring in early on
a Tuesday morning, it’s more likely your boss will believe you, found a survey by Attest, because they’re less likely to think you’ve just had a big weekend.


It’s known as “hump day” and psychologists at the University of Sydney found it’s the point in the week when your mood dips to its lowest, so it can feel like a slog.

Plus, Wednesday at 3.30pm is the time women say they’re likely to feel most tired due to a build-up of fatigue and stress, according to another survey.**

The good news is, if you’re trying to lose weight it’s the best day to jump on the scales.

Wednesday is when the reading is likely to be most accurate and you can best compare your progress week-on-week, according to scientists at Finland’s Tampere University of Technology.


Want some mind-blowing sex? Thursday is when your libido kicks in. The weekly build-up of the stress chemical cortisol – which stimulates sex hormones – peaks today.

And it’s when you’re most likely to be synchronised with your man’s hormone levels, too.

However, while it may be good for your sex life, Thursday is not such a good day to check into hospital. According to a study by think
tank The Institute for Public Policy Research, you will likely stay in half a day longer than if you were admitted on a different day, possibly because any test results may not come back in until after the weekend.

The research found that patients who went into hospital on a Thursday stayed for an average of 6.1 days, compared with 5.6 days when admitted on Mondays or Tuesdays.


Fri-yay really is the happiest day of the week, so found a study published in the journal PLOS One.

But chances are it is also your least productive day. Data analysed by software company Red Booth found we complete just 16% of tasks, making us a fifth less efficient than on a Monday.

Meanwhile, feeling excited for the weekend might be why Friday is when we’re most likely to break any diet pledges and have a treat, according to a survey by Tesco.

But our rush to get away also makes Friday the most common day for car crashes, so take it easy on the roads. Direct Line Car Insurance found drivers have a 14% higher chance of being involved in a collision today, compared to other days of the week, and the riskiest time is 5-6pm as workers make tracks ahead of the weekend.


If you’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend, the bad news is that Saturday is the day you’re most likely to be hit by a migraine, according to a study of 40,000 migraine attacks in the journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

Experts call this “a let-down headache” caused by a build-up of stress followed by a sudden change in routine.

And be on your guard around 6.30pm on a Saturday night, as that’s apparently the most likely time for an accident in the kitchen.

Research by UK charity Electrical Safety First found that four slip-ups, including pan fires, take place every second around this time because people are more prone to risky behaviour, more absent-minded and they may have been drinking.


A fan of some morning nooky? You’re not alone! A survey by Superdrug found that 9am on a Sunday is the most common time to get down to business.

But it’s bad news if you have to go into hospital – as it’s the day you’re at greatest risk of dying.

A study published by the Royal Society of Medicine found you have a 16% increased risk of death if you’re admitted on a Sunday, compared with Wednesday, probably because you are more likely to be an emergency case.

Sunday may also traditionally be a day of rest, but more people break bones at this point in the week than any other day, according to Danish scientists. Playing sports and the fact you’re more likely to be active in general over the weekend is to blame.

And it seems that, thanks to busy weekends spent socialising and enjoying yourself, plus worries about the working week ahead, Sunday night is also when one in four of us sleep the worst, according to a survey by sleep app Calm.

  • GET MORE: Find out the seven foods to help you sleep better here.

Sources: *JAMA Internal Medicine **St Tropez

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