Have you ever opened your eyes in the morning only to find that you’re permeated by anxiety?
It’s a distressing feeling. Especially when you’re not sure why it’s happening.
Today I want to explore the causes of morning anxiety and how you can stop it.
To begin, you should know that morning anxiety is common. So I hope you don’t feel like you’re the only poor soul in the world that has this problem. Waking up anxious isn’t some bizarre anomaly in this regard.
After all, simply because you’ve fallen asleep doesn’t mean that your mind and body have stopped being affected by anxiety, rather while you’re asleep you’re merely unaware of it.
Imagine how much stress you’re under. How much fear, sadness, and uncertainty you’ve endured. How are you supposed to go through all that and not be affected by it?
The answer is you don’t.
I can remember that at the height of my anxiety I woke up anxious for weeks at a time. I’d sit up and the first thing I’d do is scan my brain and body for the telltale signs of anxiety. And like clock work it was always there waiting for me. But I got through it.
The good news is that there’s no mystery as to why this happens. The cause of morning anxiety can be attributed to 3 key things:
- Stress hormones
- Anticipatory anxiety
Now, I don’t want to gloss over the fact that there can be, and indeed there are, more reasons for morning anxiety. What I’m saying is that these are the core reasons.
You can also do a lot to counter morning nerves. There’s no need to allow this to continue indefinitely. Here’s a list of helpful counter measures:
Solutions for Morning Anxiety
- Aerobic & Anaerobic exercise
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Magnesium supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Music therapy
- Massage therapy
- Vitamin C
- Black tea
- Avoid Caffeine and excessive alcohol
- Avoid illicit drugs
- Get 6-8 hrs of sleep
To help me explain the three components of morning anxiety and their remedies I’ve produced a podcast that drills down to the granular details.
In this podcast I discuss:
- Causes of morning anxiety
- Calls from AG readers
- Morning anxiety counter measures
Press listen now
Gauthier, A., Chevrette, T., Bouvier, H., & Godbout, R. (2009). Evening vs. morning wake EEG activity in adolescents with anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23(1), 112-117. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.04.005
Zubin Bhagwagar, Sepehr Hafizi, Philip J. Cowen. Psychopharmacology. New York: Oct 2005. Vol. 182, Iss. 1; p. 54
Psychopharmacology (2005) 182: 54–57
Portella, M., Harmer C., Flint J., Cowen P., & Goodwin G. (2005). Enhanced Early Morning Salivary Cortisol in Neuroticism. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(4), 807-9. Retrieved July 30, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 825414381).