Anxiety can affect anyone, and it can “strike” at any time. But, for some people, it seems to flare up in the morning.
Morning anxiety is more common than you might think. Research shows, time of day has an impact on anxiety levels. If you tend to feel more anxious upon waking up in the morning, you’re not alone. But, that doesn’t mean you have to deal with it for the rest of your life. Getting to the bottom of your morning anxiety is the first step in actually managing it.
So, what are some reasons you might feel more anxious in the morning?
1. An Abundance of Stress
When you’re stressed about work, relationships, or other aspects of your personal life, it takes a toll on your body. It also releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can cause you to feel anxious right away.
Cortisol is often referred to as the “waking hormone.” Not only can it cause you to wake up from a calm sleep, but it can overwhelm you right away with an abundance of stress to start your day.
2. Relationship Problems
Multiple studies have shown that people having relationship issues are more likely to feel anxious, especially when they live with their partner.
If you’re trying to work through some issues or dealing with a rough patch, you might have a hard time finding sleep, to begin with. But, waking up next to that person can instantly cause your body to tense up. No matter how mature and respectful your disagreements are, it’s normal to feel that tension and frustration when things aren’t going well.
When you feel that tension as you wake, it’s easy to feel anxious and worried right away.
3. A Lack of Sleep
Sleep and anxiety have a unique connection that often feels more like a vicious cycle. If you struggle with anxiety, you might have a hard time falling (or staying) asleep at night. Unfortunately, not being able to sleep often fuels anxiety, creating a pattern that can feel impossible to break.
Even if you are able to get a bit of sleep, it’s not uncommon to wake up feeling anxious in the morning because you know it wasn’t enough to feel recharged.
4. Major Life Events
Think about anything in your life that has recently changed. Did someone close to you pass away? Did you have to move away from your family? Are you going through a break-up? It doesn’t have to be a negative event; maybe you got a big promotion at work or you just got engaged.
The fact is, big life changes are stressful—even positive ones. They can cause you to overthink and stress over every possible scenario. Even the “good things” can start to make you anxious when your mind is working on overdrive.
If those are things you’re thinking about before you go to bed, they’ll undoubtedly be the things you think about waking up, causing you to feel stressed first thing in the morning. This type of thinking can also fuel the negative sleep/anxiety cycle mentioned above.
Some morning anxiety situations are temporary. When the “trigger” passes or the situation changes, the anxiety may go away. However, if it’s something you continue to deal with, know that you don’t have to alone.
Feel free to contact us to learn more about why you’re feeling so anxious each morning. There are, as you might expect, more possibilities to consider. Getting to the bottom of your anxiety is the best first step in taking control of your mornings – and your life.