Anxiety upon waking is a feeling of anguish that is experienced in the morning. Before we are fully aware, a wave of worries or unpleasant thoughts invades our mind and does so with such force that we even find it difficult to breathe. This experience is more common than it seems and is called waking anxiety.
It is important to recognize and address it so that it does not negatively affect our quality of life. For this reason, in this Psychologyorg article, we explain what anxiety is when you wake up: symptoms, causes, and treatment. Discover the keys to detecting it, the causes that cause it, and the best treatments to deal with it.
Table of Contents
What is anxiety upon waking
Waking anxiety is a feeling of worry, tension, nervousness, sadness, or fear when you wake up in the morning. This feeling of anguish upon waking can last throughout the day and interfere with emotional well-being, as well as the ability to carry out daily tasks normally.
It is important to know that this feeling can be controlled, and may even be made to go away. Despite the discomfort it causes, it also has a positive part, because it gives you the opportunity to learn to listen to your own body. This allows us to get to know each other better and understand what are the limits or situations that need to be changed to take care of our mental health.
Symptoms of anxiety upon waking
What does it mean to get up at dawn with anxiety? The symptoms of anxiety upon waking can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include:
- The sensation of oppression in the chest.
- Difficulty breathing or a feeling of choking.
- Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat.
- Night sweats or excessive sweating.
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Feeling restless or nervous.
- Uncontrollable and imminent fear or fear.
- Negative thoughts or persistent worries.
- Insomnia, night awakenings, or difficulty falling asleep.
- Fatigue and lack of energy during the day.
- Reluctance and lack of motivation to face obligations.
Causes of anxiety upon waking
Why do I wake up afraid? When we talk about anxiety when waking up, all the negative symptoms that are experienced come from specific causes. Below are the most common reasons that cause anxiety in the morning.
- Stress and worries: Living with stress and worries can cause anxiety when you wake up. Generally, the origin of stress as a physiological response is external factors that wear out or that are difficult to cope with. Likewise, worries represent fears in the face of certain circumstances. They are the most common cognitive response to anxiety. Some everyday examples can be fear of failing an exam, fear of losing a job, fear of losing a loved one, etc.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – This disorder is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a wide range of topics, including health, work, money, and relationships. People with a generalized anxiety disorder may feel anxious upon waking, even for no specific reason.
- Panic disorder – People with panic disorder experience unexpected panic attacks, recognizable as intense episodes of fear and anxiety that can last for several minutes. Upon awakening, they may feel symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, tremors, or shortness of breath.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD may experience obsessions, recurring intrusive thoughts that cause anxiety, and compulsions, repetitive behaviors performed to reduce anxiety. Upon awakening, they may feel the need to perform certain compulsions to feel safe. If you want to know more, in this article you will see what are the types of OCD and their symptoms.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Those who have experienced a traumatic event can develop PTSD. It is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of certain places or situations, and changes in mood. Upon awakening, they may feel anxious or frightened by the possibility of reliving the traumatic event.
- Sleep disorders – Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, can disrupt sleep and cause distress upon awakening.
- Medical problems – Some medical conditions, such as hypoglycemia or hyperthyroidism, can cause anxiety upon waking.
- Medication Side Effects – Some medications, such as steroids or blood pressure medications, can cause anxiety upon waking as a side effect.
- Substance use: The use of substances such as alcohol, caffeine, or stimulant medications can disrupt sleep and cause anxiety in the morning.
Treatment of anxiety upon waking
What to do if I feel anxious when I wake up? Depending on the underlying cause of anxiety and the severity of the disorder, it is advisable to follow one or another treatment. Some examples of more effective treatments include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a psychological therapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors that cause clinical pictures such as anxiety upon awakening. A CBT therapist can help the person identify and change negative thought patterns that occur in the morning and cause anxiety.
- Relaxation techniques – Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation, can help reduce anxiety upon waking. These techniques can be learned by going to therapy and you can also practice them at home. There are many types of relaxation and meditation, including body scans, breathing, and yoga practice.
- Lifestyle changes – Changing habits can reduce anxiety upon waking. For example, it is advisable to avoid caffeine before going to bed, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet.
- Medication: In some cases, professionals prescribe medications to reduce anxiety and improve sleep, such as anxiolytics or antidepressants. It is important not to take these medicines without a prescription, since they can have a series of health risks.
This article is only for informational purposes, at Psychologorg we do not have the ability to make a diagnosis or suggest treatment. We urge you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
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