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Health & Fitness Why anxiety can be worse in the morning

17:45  24 january  2020
17:45  24 january  2020 Source:   cosmopolitan.com

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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 But low blood sugar due to a lack of food can make anxiety symptoms worse . If you go to bed worrying or wake up during the night with anxious thoughts

Why — why ?!—does morning anxiety happen? And how do you get rid of it? Here, Gail Saltz, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY As for why anxiety can strike in the morning , Dr. Saltz says there are a few factors at play that could cause morning anxiety : 1. You have higher amounts

a young man lying on a bed: Three women explain why they feel more anxious earlier in the day, in a reassuring reminder that morning anxiety is a common pattern. © LaylaBird - Getty Images Three women explain why they feel more anxious earlier in the day, in a reassuring reminder that morning anxiety is a common pattern.

Let's face it: anxiety can occur at any time of day and, when it does, it can be the actual worst. But for some, anxiety has a particular habit of rearing its ugly head in the mornings.

At the start of a new day, it’s easy for the mind to ruminate on what's ahead and become overwhelmed with negative thoughts about what you need to achieve that day. This can leave us with a “sinking feeling” and a high level of anxiety, says Dr Elena Touroni, a Consultant Psychologist and co-founder of London's The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.

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By morning --assuming your hormones aren't out of whack due to pain or depression--your melatonin level is at its lowest and is eclipsed by cortisol. For example, because anxiety is so exhausting--mentally and physically--the prospect of sleep can offer relief from the torture of daytime anxiety .

And it turns out there's a scientific reason why anxiety can be so common in the morning for some. "For most people, the stress hormone cortisol is highest in the first hour upon waking, helping us to stay alert and focused in the morning," says Elena. "However, going to bed feeling anxious can cause cortisol levels to spike too early, which might lead you to wake up with a racing mind. Blood sugar levels are also lower first thing in the morning, which can trigger anxiety for those who are prone to it."

Sound familiar? We thought so. If you notice that your anxiety is worse in the morning, try incorporating some form of relaxation into your morning routine to help soothe the mind, says Elena. "We all have good and bad days, and even just a short mindfulness exercise can provide you with a sense of what emotional state you’re in so you can create a day that is sensitive to how you’re feeling," she advises.

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Morning anxiety symptoms are nervousness, weakness, giddiness, insomnia, breathing problems, numbness, exhaustion, chest pain, etc.Find how to deal with morning anxiety . Most people who suffer from anxiety disorders report that their anxiety in the morning is the worst .

"Yes, depression and anxiety are worse in the morning . That is when your body's cortisol level is the hightest(cortisol is stimulating) and that accounts for probably part of what you "Another reason why symptoms can be worse in the morning is because your blood sugar is low when you first wake up.

Here, three women whose anxiety was worst in the morning explain why it happened, and how they've learned to cope.

AMBER, 28, content marketing executive

"Anxiety has always been a part of my life, but it wasn’t until I moved to Sheffield when I was 24 that my GP helped me take steps to manage my mental health. I was eventually diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder.

My anxiety shows itself physically and mentally. I often suffer from an increased heart rate, tremors and rapid breathing, which used to escalate into anxiety attacks. I also struggle with sleepless nights and dark days, where I struggle to leave my bed.

When my anxiety was at its worst, my brain was full of ‘what ifs’ before I could even leave the front door for work, and I'd sometimes have panic attacks. Insomnia would drive endless self-questioning about things I had said or done and what effect they were going to have. I'd lie in a pit of spiralling darkness until it was 8am and I needed to leave for work, absorbed in anxiety and unable to leave my bed. Anxious mornings ruined my workday, if I did manage to leave for work. I'd work myself into a state on my commute and spend most of the day trying to calm myself down so that I could crunch through my to-do list. My anxiety would be even worse in the mornings if I overexerted myself the night before, from having too many social plans, a busy day at work or too much to drink.

A sleepless night can increase anxiety a lot more than you'd think

  A sleepless night can increase anxiety a lot more than you'd think No wonder the insomnia/anxiety cycle is so hard to break. New scientific research suggests anxious thoughts are increased by 30% after a lack of sleep. Insomnia is often fuelled by anxiety. You can't sleep, so you feel anxious about being unable to sleep, which then keeps you awake even longer. It's a well understood cycle - but new scientific research into the correlation between lack of sleep and anxiety indicates just how much tiredness can open the floodgates to anxious thoughts. And it's a lot.

One reason why anxiety can be worse in the morning is that waking up is a sharp contrast to the sleep environment, which is perceived as pleasant for most people. Picture this: You are sleeping peacefully in your warm, cozy bed, (for some, after many hours of insomnia).

There are many reasons why you could be having anxiety in the morning . Many of you have bad anxiety at night and don't end the day on a great note. This will not set you up for success in the morning . Many of you are self medicating you anxiety symptoms and disorders with substances.

a close up of a clock: Why anxiety can be worse in the morning © Carol Yepes - Getty Images Why anxiety can be worse in the morning

Eventually, in 2018, my doctor, bosses and I agreed I would take some time off work. It was a hard decision because work was the only thing getting me out of bed, but taking time off for my mental health was a necessity and I do not think I’d be here without it. I also began counselling on the NHS. I was listened to, my concerns were heard and I wasn’t just prescribed more medication. Together with my therapist, we worked on the root of the problem.

Mornings, although often still difficult, don't take over my days anymore. I haven't 'overcome' anxiety and depression but through intense counselling, medication management and relearning my own behaviours, I'm in better control of it."

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.

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"Good morning anxiety "..some days it is terrible, somedays bearly there but it is ALWAYS there in some form. Mine only lasts an hour or so however, it can spike its head at any time .It usually peeks at me at lunch time and then dinner time i just deal with it, accept it, and move forward.

Understanding Early Morning Anxiety By Deanne Repich Are mornings the worst time for your anxiety ? One reason why anxiety can be worse in the morning is that waking up is a sharp contrast to the sleep environment, which is perceived as

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.

At the time, I was working as an influencer, leading a NYC-based fashion blogging group. That meant socialising with many fellow bloggers and going to events. This was a nightmare and I'd sometimes prep for events weeks in advance. I found it easier to chat with a wine glass in my hand and sometimes would inadvertently have one too many drinks (not because I was having so much fun, but because I was trying to drown out the anxiety). Obviously, that created more issues.

a person lying on a bed: Why anxiety can be worse in the morning © SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY - Getty Images Why anxiety can be worse in the morning

During a particularly tough time, when I was having family issues, I woke up every day for a three months unable to catch my breath. Throughout the day I had to stop to breathe, and I often couldn't. I went to a psychiatrist and when I told her, she informed me that I was living in a state of panic 24/7 - like having a non-stop panic attack. I lost 20lbs in a month and started taking medication. At first, meds didn't work for me, but then I switched to some which worked better.

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Morning anxiety explained. So why do some of us feel anxiety more acutely first thing? We ' re more likely to focus on our thoughts in bed, which can be both a good and bad thing for people with Similarly, exercise first thing in the morning can release endorphins to combat low mood or anxiety .

Is it possible that my anxiety could be worse in the morning ? I feel so drained and shaky as soon as I wake up. Does anyone know why this is ? Most people have caffeine in the morning , lets say a cup of coffee which will excite the adrenals which are already exhausted trying to fight Anxiety , thus

So what helps me? Well, routines. Anxiety is anticipating the unexpected, so eliminating the unexpected from any situation helps. My anxiety doesn't wake me up anymore but I feel it throughout the day in pangs when thinking about what to do next - or doing anything sociable. But my routine keeps the evenings and the mornings consistent. In the mornings, I wake up and pet my cat while catching up on emails, then I make coffee, feed my animals and start on my to-do list. I consistently follow the list and add tasks throughout the day. In the evenings, I always make a cup of tea, meditate, do 15 minutes of Japanese practice, and listen to an audiobook. These routines lower my anxiety because I always know what I'm tackling ahead of time. If my experience sounds similar to yours, don't self-diagnose or try to cope with it alone. See a doctor. I didn't realise how different life could be on medication that actually works for me."

Nataliya is the founder of Styletomes.com.

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 won’t go away. It isn’t hunger, or being poorly. It’s 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 (like not having recycling bags, for instance) 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.

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Why anxiety can feel worse at night. "Sleep promotes rest and relaxation, and gives us a chance to recuperate and let go of the stresses of the day," says Dr Natasha Bijlani, a consultant psychiatrist who provides treatment for anxiety at Priory Hospital Roehampton. "However, this isn't the case for the

As a sufferer of GAD, my anxiety is much worse in the morning . Does anyone know why that could be the case? Is anxiety worse when you wake up? Later in the day you might have more confidence and feel like youve gotten past part of it already so theres more hope.

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.

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.

Every night, even now, I stir at 3am and a million things race through my mind. Feeling so anxious in the mornings made me feel like I was setting myself up for failure every single day. I'd become convinced that the day would hold a bump in the road, that something would go wrong. Even if I'd had what might be considered a 'perfect day' the day before, a grey cloud would rush over and change everything.

Things are better now and I've learnt a few coping strategies: I use the Headspace app. Taking ten minutes per day to just focus really brings me back down to normality. I also use an app called Yoga Studio. Gentle stretching and listening to how my body feels makes me feel so much more in tune with myself."

Leanne blogs at The Trials and Tribulations of Parenthood.

How to manage anxiety, by Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind

What is anxiety?

"What causes us to feel anxious varies from one person to another," says Stephen. "Anxiety is a normal reaction to a stressful situation, but if feelings last a long time or keep returning, you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder. Anxiety and depression are common and treatable, but it’s best to speak to your GP as soon as you can."

What should I do if anxiety is disrupting my sleep?

“For some people, the symptoms of anxiety may feel stronger at night without the usual distractions of the day," advises Stephen. "It’s not uncommon for people with anxiety disorders to wake up during the night having a panic attack, which can be really scary. Lots of people will find they experience other physical symptoms such as headaches, clenching their jaws and grinding their teeth at night – all of which can disrupt our sleep. If you’re struggling to sleep, you might find that your mental health becomes worse as a result, and it can become a cyclical pattern."

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“ Morning anxiety may be triggered when we are consumed with the ‘what ifs’ of the day or week,” Jamison Monroe, CEO of Newport Academy, a healing center for adolescents To quash morning anxiety , you need to first break the mental habit, and then learn how to focus on living in the present.

But there are things that can help: "Only get into bed when you are tired, rather than at a set time," continues Stephen. "Relaxing before bed, such as having a bath, or reading a book, can also be helpful. Some people use meditation techniques like focusing on their breath. Technology can also prevent you from sleeping well, so make sure you step away from screens at least an hour before you want to sleep.”

How should I manage my anxiety?

“There are various things you can do to manage anxiety," says Stephen. "Talk to someone you trust about what is making you anxious. If you experience depression and anxiety, you might benefit from a talking therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is available on the NHS. Speak to your GP about treatment options as soon as you can.

"If you aren't able to open up to someone close to you, call a confidential helpline such as those run by the Samaritans, Anxiety UK or Mind’s Infoline (open Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm). Breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques can also help manage anxiety. Keeping a record of what triggered the anxiety (such as noise or crowds) and what helps it to pass (such as focusing on slowing our breathing or getting outdoors) can also help you understand and spot patterns early.”

Plus, exercise and diet both can both affect mental health. "Physical activity is beneficial to our mental health as it releases ‘feel good’ endorphins and reduces levels of cortisol," says Stephen. "Eating regularly, keeping your blood sugar stable staying hydrated and managing caffeine can all help to keep us mentally well.”

For more tips, visit mind.org.uk

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How to stop politics from sabotaging your mental health .
How to minimise anxious thoughts and keep your cool during a divisive timeWe speak to Psychotherapist and International Speaker Noel McDermott about how to minimise anxious thoughts and keep your cool during the election.

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