Why do I wake up with anxiety
Image source: Healthline

If you find that you wake up wary and exhausted instead of refreshed, It is associated with the fear of what is happening or something that might happen in the near future and according to the Cambridge English dictionary, anxiety is defined as an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry.

Waking up with anxiety is very common. Depending on your body type, feeling anxious usually occurs because of the body’s natural rise in the stress hormone cortisol that we produce when we sleep. There are so many possible reasons why a person wakes up with anxiety. Sometimes, it may be caused by stress from school, the workplace, or relationship issues.

Although feeling a little bit of anxiety when you wake up in the morning is quite normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you have an anxiety disorder, it can only be regarded as a disorder when it becomes excessive.

Although not medically termed, anxiety in the morning refers to waking up feeling worried and stressed. How would I know if I have morning anxiety? Well, it is quite easy to recognize because your physical and mental health symptoms can build or appear suddenly. It is also very common to experience temporary anxiety when you wake up in the morning. This is just a way your body reacts to the events that are going on in your life.

However, when anxiety becomes a constant, you may have a generalized anxiety disorder (G.A.D.). This may be the reason why you wake up feeling anxious. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of G.A.D. include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive worrying about everyday things
  • Trouble controlling and worrying.
  • Twitching or easily startled
  • Sweating, lightheadedness, shortness of breath
  • Headaches and other unexplained pain

Reasons why I wake up with anxiety

There is a natural process called the cortisol awakening response. Cortisol (a stress hormone) rises in the first thirty to forty-five minutes after waking up. According to researchers, the rise in cortisol helps the human brain prepare for all of the activities that are going to be faced that day. In some other cases, it is possible that underlying stress and anxiety can make your cortisol levels rise way too high. Below are some factors that cause you to wake up feeling anxious.

1. Stress

Anxiety and stress practically work together. Facing different life stressors like worrying about money, illness, being dissatisfied with your current job, or maybe having relationship trouble all contribute to reasons why you could be dealing with anxiety.

Plus, cortisol levels become generally higher anytime we are tired. So, they can even become more pronounced during the morning hours (a.m.) right after you wake up.

2. Physical Health

It is very important for us to take very good care of our physical health. lack of good Sleep and anxiety disruption are common symptoms of many health conditions. Here are a few reasons that can make you sleep poorly and wake up feeling anxious:

  • Hormone changes due to premenstrual syndrome (P.M.S.), premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD)
  • Pregnancy or menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Cancer
  • Heart diseases and high blood pressure
  • Injuries and chronic pain
  • Asthma

3. Sleeping Disorders

Finding it difficult to sleep is all part of having anxiety. Sleeping disorders like narcolepsy, insomnia, and sleep apnea can also contribute to one waking up feeling anxious.

Most times, some episodes of sleep paralysis can also cause intense fear when waking, and it may include seeing things that are not there (hallucination). This kind of intense sleep disruption occurs during R.E.M. sleep when you are partially awake, but your muscles are not able to move, and sometimes, this may lead to anxious feelings in the early hours of the morning (am).

People with anxiety disorders, past trauma, or people who abuse alcohol are also more likely to experience paralysis in their sleep.

4. Mental Health Conditions

There are many types of anxiety disorders that affect our mental health, but one of the most common is Generalized anxiety disorder (G.A.D.). G.A.D. can lead to both poor sleep and one having to wake up with anxiety. Some symptoms of G.A.D. include:

  • Irritability
  • Nervousness and  worry
  • Fatigue
  • Occurrence of panic attacks, frequently 

There are some mental health conditions that have some similarities in their symptoms, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.), and bipolar disorder.

P.T.S.D. can also lead to having nightmares or some traumatic flashbacks that can make you wake up suddenly in a panicked state. If you have a psychiatric diagnosis and you become aware of an increase in anxiety or trouble sleeping, make sure to talk with your doctor or therapist about it. 

Other Types of Anxiety Disorders Include ;

1. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D.)

This is known as an anxiety disorder, which is characterized by excessive or repetitive behaviors. Excessive behaviors such as organizing, reading, or cleaning. However, performing these activities can only provide relief temporarily, and not performing can lead to an increase in anxiety.

2. Social Anxiety Disorder (or social phobia)

This kind of disorder comes with a feeling of excessive self-consciousness in your daily activities. For example, in situations such as eating in public or fear of public speaking (formally or informally),

#3. Alcohol or substance use

The use of other substances and alcohol can worsen anxiety. Also, drinking alcohol before bedtime is associated with having difficulties with sleeping.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 20 percent of Americans who drink alcohol or use substances (drugs) can also experience increased anxiety or depression.

Note: Alcohol and anxiety are not a good mix. If you are experiencing alcohol or substance use disorder and anxiety, make sure you reach out to your therapist or doctor. They can help you find the best treatment option for your situation.

How to Treat Morning Anxiety 

If you feel that G.A.D. is the reason for your restless sleep and anxiety, it is advised you speak with a doctor about your symptoms if you have them. They can easily get an assessment of your health history and can do further tests to rule out a physical cause for your symptoms.

The doctor can also recommend you to a psychiatrist or therapist for treatment.

Most times, G.A.D. is usually managed with therapy, for example, the use of medications or (cognitive behavior therapy). below are some medications used to treat anxiety and they are :

Drugs used in treating anxiety disorders

  • Benzodiazepine

These are sedative medications that can reduce anxious panic attacks and episodes.

  • Beta-blockers

These ones may reduce the physical symptoms of being anxious, like rapid heart rate.

  • Buspirone

It is an anti-anxiety medication that is not a sedative or habit-forming like benzodiazepines.

  • Antidepressants

There are several types of antidepressant drugs that also have anti-anxiety effects, like Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine (Prozac), or Paroxetine.

The use of some of these medications can cause side effects that can worsen your anxiety, like panic attacks or nightmares. Make sure to keep your doctor in the loop if your symptoms get worse when taking a new medication.

How to Cope with Anxiety

If you are dealing with anxiety, there are many strategies that you can employ to avoid feeling consumed by it. below are some quick solutions to help you address the situation immediately, as well as some long-term methods to combat the recurring issue.

1. Be aware of your thoughts

According to research, most people who get anxious often have negative thoughts, and this can take root in your mind and distort the situation, making it seem very severe. In order to avoid this, you can challenge your fears and ask if they are true, then see where you can take back your control.

2. Learn to breathe slowly

When you have anxiety or you are in an anxious situation, try taking deep breaths for a total of five minutes. after that respiratory exercise, you will notice how easily you breathe due to your reduced heart rate, which should help calm you down.

The 4-7-8 technique also helps to reduce anxiousness.

#3. Make use of aromatherapy

It is well-recognized that most natural smells reduce anxiety. Scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood may be incredibly calming, whether they are in the form of incense, candles, natural, or essential oils.

Additionally, aromatherapy helps to activate specific brain receptors, which may assist in reducing anxiety.

#4. Learn to socialize

Every individual is different, and sometimes, people experience social anxiety. Spending time with friends and family regularly can help you manage it better.

Socialization can also help you relieve stress. It also encourages feelings of laughter and togetherness and decreases loneliness. When you spend more time with your friends and family, your thoughts will not be in place. This therapy relieves stress and will help ease your anxiety.

Why do I wake up with anxiety for no reason?

the reason you may find yourself waking up with anxiety can be brought on by a variety of factors, such as stress from job, school, or interpersonal interactions. Even while feeling anxious when you first wake up is typical, if you do it regularly, you may have generalized anxiety disorder.

What Are the 5 Types of Coping Strategies for Waking up With Anxiety?

  • Deep Breathing.
  • Intentional Movement.
  • Cognitive Challenge.
  • E.F.T. Tapping.
  • Exercise.

How do I get rid of morning anxiety and nausea?

  • Eat a small amount of food, like plain crackers or plain bread.
  • Slowly sip water or something clear and cold.
  • Try to calm yourself by taking long, deep breaths
  • If you’re wearing something tight, change into clothing that doesn’t restrict your stomach


Anxiety is a normal, necessary emotion that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, a fear of not reacting positively in social situations, environmental concerns, and systemic marginalization. Before diagnosing an anxiety disorder, a mental health professional will consider the frequency and severity of anxiety as well as the findings of various in-depth assessments before prescribing the necessary medications to help manage the symptoms.

  1. HOW TO GET RID OF ANXIETY FOREVER: Anxiety Causes & 5 Sure Ways To Deal With It
  2. EMOTIONAL CHEATING VS FRIENDSHIP Simplified!!! (What are the Differences)
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like