What Does It Mean When You Wake Up With Anxiety
When the beginning of your day is with anxiety, what else could probably be worse? Waking up with anxiety can be pretty much a terrible experience as your whole day is affected.
Waking up with morning anxiety is like a repeating cycle of negative thoughts. You feel a surge of overwhelming panic and feel as if youre going crazy.
Your heart palpitations and trembling wont stop. You start to hyperventilate as you gasp for air, but you choke and feel like youre going to pass out.
All the anxiety symptoms start to kick in as you have your anxious thoughts. It may show you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or you worry too much before sleeping.
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Coffee And Sugary Morning Foods
Coffee has developed an unfair reputation in the anxiety world. While coffee can increase your risk of anxiety symptoms and panic attacks, many people are able to drink coffee without too many problems and some even find the clarity that coffee brings to be calming.
But coffee can still contribute to feelings of morning anxiety. Studies have shown that coffee increases cortisol levels, which may trigger a physiological anxiety response. This might also involve an elevated heart rate, and for those that are sensitive to how their heart feels, that increased heart rate may trigger further anxiousness.
But coffee is not the only culprit. Many people eat foods high in sugars, from donuts to cereal to juice, and high sugar foods can also contribute to nervousness and jitters. All of these scenarios may indicate that your diet could be affecting morning anxiety.
Calming Techniques To Avoid Waking Up With Anxiety
Wondering how to stop waking up with anxiety? Youre not alone. Lets review some techniques that have been found to help many people wake up more confidently, calm, and energetic, ready to face their day.
Though you might not be able to totally prevent the feeling of anxiety you experience when you first wake up, you can help lessen the symptoms and severity with natural remedies for anxiety. Try using any or all of these methods right away.
There are many ways to help calm your anxiety. You can do a guided meditation, do yoga or a workout, engage in a deep breathing exercise, have a healthy breakfast, listen to relaxing music, take a walk, or write a journal.
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Waking Up With Anxiety: Why Do I Feel Anxious In The Morning
Many people know what it feels like to wake up and immediately feel stressed, worried, or nervous about the day ahead. Usually, anxiety is limited to stressful situations like a job interview or an important presentation. However, if you regularly feel anxious as soon as you wake up, its important to understand why.
Dread for the upcoming day
Trouble going back to sleep
Feeling on edge, jittery, or irritable
Feeling fatigued, despite having a full sleep
This is sometimes referred to as morning anxiety. It can be challenging to manage if it is there before you can even try any calming strategies. It is not a diagnosable condition in itself, but it may be a sign you are also suffering from an underlying anxiety disorder.
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Why Is My Anxiety Worse In The Morning
Do you wake up feeling anxious or worried in the morning? Do you feel as if youre going to lose control as your mind is racing with negative thoughts and your heart seems to flutter in your chest? If this happens with you and you wonder why then youve reached the best place to find your answers.
In this blog, Why is my anxiety worse in the morning? I will discuss why this phenomenon happens and what could be the potential causes behind it. Trust me, you dont want to miss all the details.
Morning anxiety is like an uninvited guest, which robs your peace of mind and leaves you with worried thoughts. It is a common affliction and can wake you up during the night, leave you struggling to go back to sleep.
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What Morning Anxiety Looks Like
There’s a difference between waking up and being in a bad mood because you don’t feel like going to work and having actual morning anxiety. Here are the signs of the latter, according to Dr. Saltz:
- A rush in adrenaline, such as a racing heart or increased jitteriness.
- Increased blood pressure.
- A sense of worry for no apparent reason.
- Feeling on edge, but you aren’t sure why.
- Exhaustion even though you’ve just slept.
As for why anxiety can strike in the morning, Dr. Saltz says there are a few factors at play that could cause morning anxiety:
Why Morning Anxiety Has Become Such A Common Problem
According to recent research, stress, and anxiety are on the rise, affecting especially young people. They suffer from stress and anxiety as they reach adulthood and face the problems life throws at them.
They worry about their jobs, studies, relationships, the rising cost of housing and so much more.
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What Is Morning Anxiety
Although not a medical term, morning anxiety refers to waking up with feelings of stress and worry. If you are dealing with excessive anxiety, worry, and stress in the morning, theres a good chance you may also have generalized anxiety.
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and uncontrolled worry that pervades daily life and occurs frequently for at least six months. People with GAD typically worry about everyday actives such as work, money, family, and health.
The symptoms of morning anxiety often mimic those of generalized anxiety disorder. If you are struggling with anxiety upon waking, you may be experiencing:
- feeling restless, on-edge, or wound up
Morning anxiety can be caused by many factors that may also contribute to an anxiety disorder. Since morning anxiety is a reaction to excess stress and worries, there are several potential causes that may contribute to your symptoms.
The stress hormone cortisol is released by the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress. Researchers have studied the cortisol awakening response and have found that cortisol is highest in the first hour of waking for people with an increased level of stress in their lives. This helps explain why you may experience an increase in anxiety in the morning.
If you go to bed worrying or wake up during the night with anxious thoughts, you are likely to feel anxious and concerned about your day in the morning.
Meditation & Deep Breathing
Mindfulness meditation offers many benefits to improve emotional and mental health. You can do it anywhere, without any equipment or memberships. Most communities have group meditation courses and support available. There are several different meditation styles, each having benefits for anxiety. Even just five minutes of meditation or deep breathing daily can have measurable benefits.
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Try Your Best To Have Enough Sleep
Having enough steady sleep is medicine on its own. Research shows that adequate sleep helps to increase the concentration level of a human being.
Sleeping is a way of getting rest after a day of work. During the day the mind is fully occupied by the things that we sense with our 5 senses. Thats why everyone needs to take a break at night, close the eyes and sleep.
After waking up, the mind will be fresh again to think more. I think you should try this at home, take a good undisrupted sleep and thank me later. Scientists recommend anyone to sleep for at least 8 hours a day.
Taking enough sleep increases the chances of thinking well hence reducing morning anxiety.
Ground Yourself In The Here And Now
This will move you into the present, and away from escalating negative thoughts. You could do this by:
- Finding five objects in your room and describing them out loud.
- Identifying five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can feel, two things you can taste and one thing you can smell.
- Using an anchoring phrase or word, which you repeat over in your mind, for example calm, calm, calm.
- Box breathing: breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, hold for four seconds, repeat. This can help to regulate your breathing.
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Practice Mindfulness Meditate Or Pray
Meditation, mindfulness and prayer all have similar goals get your mind off future worries and focus on the present. Try to put yourself in a mindful state when you first wake up. Objectively observe your feelings, thoughts and bodily state while trying not to react to them. Take some deep breaths, turning your focus away from what you cant control and turning it toward what you can.
What You Can Do
If the symptoms of morning depression sound familiar to you, you can take steps to get help.
Get the right diagnosis. Talk to your doctor or health care provider to understand if you may have something more than temporary mood swings.
Take care of your overall health. Try to eat well, stay active, and manage any long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Physical health plays a role in your mental health.
Ask for a medication checkup. Your doctor or pharmacist can review if your drugs or drug interactions may be behind your morning depression.
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Leanne 36 Marketing Executive And Blogger
“I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19 and suffered with my mental health in my twenties, even overdosing after a difficult break-up.
My anxiety manifests itself as a feeling in my tummy that just wont go away. It isnt hunger, or being poorly. Its like a deep pit in my stomach. I also feel like my chest is tight and get short of breath. Sleeping is always an issue as my brain goes into relentless mode. Even the smallest of things can tip me over the edge and make me feel powerless. My menstrual cycle also drains me and makes my outlook on life change quite dramatically for a few days each month. Money is probably my biggest stress: I never feel like I have enough and, in turn, tell myself that my XX kids don’t have enough either.
My anxiety is worst on Mondays. I reflect on the weekend and make myself feel guilty for eating or drinking the ‘wrong’ things, not being more productive, and not exercising as much as I ‘should’ have. It’s when I feel most overwhelmed by everything I need to do throughout the week for my blog, part-time job and family. As soon as I get out of bed, I feel like I’m on a treadmill without a ‘stop’ button.
“As soon as I get out of bed, I feel like I’m on a treadmill without a ‘stop’ button”
I have three sons, age 14, 12, and four. My eldest son is autistic and if I know he has something going on at school or in his social life that will affect him, it’ll get to me in the mornings and I’ll worry about it all day.
Remind Yourself Of What Youre Grateful For
When youre so focused on your anxiety, it can be hard to think about anything else. Make a solid effort to focus on what youre grateful for each day as a reminder that things arent always bad or stressful. It can be as simple as a little smile from your loved one or as big as being thankful for your health, financial stability, or the roof over your head feel free to make note of whatever your mind gravitates to in the moment.
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Reduce Your Caffeine & Sugar Intake
Drinking lots of coffee or eating sugary foods can further increase your anxiety, so its best to limit or avoid them as much as possible.4 You might notice your anxiety levels go down as you make this change. Having a healthier diet for example, consuming more fruits, vegetables, and staying hydrated with water are great ways to build up your overall health and manage your anxiety.
Nataliya 33 Writer And Digital Content Consultant
“Before I was diagnosed with a generalised anxiety and panic disorders a decade ago, I genuinely believed everyone woke up with a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach every day. I’d heard people speak of anxiety, so I thought it was normal, but now I know that being anxious and having an anxiety disorder that requires medical attention aren’t the same thing. Anxiety is a normal feeling in the body, like happiness, sadness, or jealousy. There’s a big distinction between anxiety and anxiety disorders.
“I genuinely believed everyone woke up with a sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach every day”
My anxiety was especially bad in the morning because I struggled to deal with the day ahead. Waking up meant I had to organise my day to ensure I didn’t miss anything or say anything that would make me ruminate all night. I went through the tasks in my head over and over. If I was doing something new or unusual that day, I’d wake up too early with anxiety. Everything new spelled fear, especially when it centered around people or expectations I had to fulfil. Talking on the phone felt awful and socialising was a huge task.
Nataliya is the founder of Styletomes.com.
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What Can You Do About Anxiety In The Morning
There are some small lifestyle changes you can make to help you feel more at ease in the morning.
Avoid caffeine altogether, or at least wait until your cortisol levels decline .
Consuming magnesium-rich foods, such as dark chocolate, avocados, cashew nuts, oats, pumpkin seeds, and spinach. Magnesium has been shown to play a part in controlling the stress response¹ and helps you feel relaxed.
Introducing a sleep pattern and a morning routine to feel in control and know what to expect.
Start the day with some exercise to boost your endorphins and alertness.
Eating breakfast to ensure your blood sugar levels are regulated. Make sure you focus on complex sugars, such as those found in oats, Greek yogurt, apples, blueberries, and beans.
How To Manage Morning Anxiety
If youre waking up with anxious feelings, a pit in your stomach or even a panic attack, its time to see a mental health care provider . This phenomenon can have a serious impact on your well-being, and your ability to think calmly and have a realistic plan for the day, Patel said.
Aguiar suggests beginning with a journal to log your experience. Track successes, challenges and interpersonal interactions through the day to see if a pattern emerges right before days with high anxiety in the morning, he said. This can also help your health care provider gain better insight into your condition.
Another quick tool he recommends for in-the-moment anxiety: diaphragmatic breathing. Practice this by inhaling for four seconds by nose, holding it for four seconds, and breathing out by mouth with a small opening for six seconds.
Patel and Aguiar also stressed the importance of implementing calming lifestyle activities to mitigate morning anxiety. Practices like guided imagery, yoga, using affirmations or trying progressive muscle relaxation can all contribute to lower stress levels, Aguiar said. They also both recommend exercise outdoor or otherwise to give yourself a mood boost.
Patel suggested keeping up both a morning and evening routine. Structure helps alleviate the unknown, she said. At bedtime, to maximize the potential for more restful and de-stressing sleep, she advises trying the following:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Morning Anxiety
Physical and mental health symptoms of anxiety can build or appear suddenly. With morning anxiety, you wake up in the a.m. with those anxious feels, or they appear soon after waking.
Its totally normal to experience temporary anxiety in the morning in response to whats going on in your life. However, when anxiety is a constant, you may have generalized anxiety disorder . Starting the day with anxiety may be a sign that you have GAD.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the main symptoms of GAD include:
- excessive worry about everyday things
- difficulty sleeping
Why Am I Waking Up With Panic Attacks
If youre dealing with anxiety or a panic disorder during the day, its also possible to wake up with a panic attack at night.
Research estimates about 44 percent to 71 percent of people with a panic disorder will have a nighttime panic attack episode . Nocturnal panic attacks usually occur in the first few hours after falling asleep.
The Sand Man may also be to blame. Intense and frightening dreams may cause you to wake suddenly in a panic.
Night terrors can also cause you to wake up terrified, which can feel like a panic attack. Night terrors are often associated with fever, illness, excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, and emotional stress.
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