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No one wakes up full of energy in a good mood every day. But if you wake up feeling anxious most days, help is available.

What is morning anxiety?

Morning anxiety is characterized by an overwhelming feeling of worry that often occurs immediately after waking up. This type of anxiety can feel like a heavy burden, especially at the beginning of the day. In this article, we explore the causes and symptoms of morning anxiety, as well as tips to manage it.

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Do I have morning anxiety?

Characteristics of morning anxiety include feelings of worry and fear after waking up, heart palpitations, and feeling pressure in your chest.

Dealing with morning anxiety

  1. Create a relaxing morning routine: Add activities such as yoga or light exercise.
  2. Improve sleep quality: Create a relaxing routine before bedtime.
  3. Write down worries: Writing down what worries you the night before can help reduce morning anxiety.

When to seek help?

If you regularly feel severe anxiety in the morning or morning anxiety is beginning to effect your daily life, it may be time to consider professional help. Psychologists and therapists can offer support and techniques to manage your anxiety.

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Why do I wake up with anxiety?

Waking up with a feeling of anxiety can be a deeply unsettling experience and can strongly affect the start of your day. This feeling, often called morning anxiety, can have several different causes. To understand why some people wake up with anxiety, it is important to examine both psychological and physiological factors.

Psychological causes

  • Underlying anxiety condition: If you suffer from an anxiety condition, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, this can exacerbate the feeling of anxiety in the morning.
  • Stress and worry: The daily stressors and worries of life can feel heavier in the morning. It could be worries about work tasks, personal relationships or health issues that accumulate and become more apparent when you wake up.
  • Depression: Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand. A person with depressive symptoms may also have underlying anxiety, causing them to experience heightened anxiety in the morning.

Physiological causes

  • Hormonal changes: In the morning there is a natural increase in the stress hormone cortisol. For some, this hormonal change can trigger feelings of anxiety.
  • Sleep quality and patterns: Poor sleep or a disrupted sleep cycle can contribute to morning anxiety, as lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and make it harder to cope with stress.
  • Blood sugar levels: Low blood sugar levels in the morning can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and irritability.

Lifestyle factors

  • Rushed morning routines: A stressful morning routine can increase anxiety levels. Thus, a rushed, chaotic start to the day can amplify feelings of anxiety.
  • Caffeine and diet: High caffeine intake and poor diet can also exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

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Reflect on your anxiety

Understanding why you wake up with anxiety is the first step towards managing it. It is therefore important to identify triggers and work to reduce them. For many people, professional help can be an important part of learning to manage morning anxiety effectively.

23 common questions and answers about morning anxiety

Why do I have so much anxiety in the morning?

Morning anxiety can be caused by several factors, including stress, irregular sleep patterns, and psychological conditions such as anxiety disorders or depression. Hormonal changes that occur during the night can also affect how you feel when you wake up. It is important to identify underlying causes to effectively manage this anxiety.

How to get rid of morning anxiety?

Managing morning anxiety often involves a combination of lifestyle changes and coping strategies. Some tips include establishing a regular sleep routine, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and avoiding stimulants such as caffeine. Talking to a psychologist or therapist can also be helpful in developing effective strategies to deal with anxiety.

Why do you feel worse in the morning?

Many individuals find that they feel worse in the morning due to the natural increase in the stress hormone cortisol during the morning, which can lead to increased anxiety and worry upon awakening. In addition, an accumulation of stress and worries from the previous day can contribute to this feeling.

Can you wake up with anxiety?

Yes, it is possible to wake up with a feeling of anxiety. This can be due to various factors such as stress, hormonal changes, or other mental health conditions. It is important to seek professional help if you regularly wake up with anxiety, as it could be a sign of deeper issues that need to be addressed. Help is available.

Is morning anxiety common?

Yes, morning anxiety is a relatively common phenomenon. Many people experience periods of increased anxiety in the morning, which can be linked to stress, hormonal changes, or mental health conditions. It is important to remember that you are not alone in experiencing this and that there are strategies and treatments that can help.

Does sleep quality affect morning anxiety?

Sleep quality has a major impact on morning anxiety. Poor sleep or lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and worry. Maintaining a healthy sleep routine and making sure you get enough rest can be crucial in reducing morning anxiety.

Can diet and exercise affect morning anxiety?

Diet and exercise play an important role in the management of morning anxiety. A nutritious diet and regular physical activity can help improve mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety. Avoiding high amounts of sugar and caffeine can also be beneficial.

What role does daily routine play in managing morning anxiety?

Having a stable and predictable daily routine can be very effective in reducing morning anxiety. Routines can provide a sense of control and stability, which can be reassuring for people experiencing anxiety. Including relaxation techniques and time for self-care in your daily routine can also be helpful.

When to seek professional help for morning anxiety?

If your morning anxiety is persistent, affecting your daily functioning or causing significant distress, it is important to seek professional help. A psychologist or therapist can offer support and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

Can morning anxiety be seasonal?

Yes, morning anxiety can be seasonal, especially during the winter months. Lack of sunlight can affect your body’s routine and mood, which can lead to increased anxiety. Light therapy and getting as much daylight as possible during these months can help.

How can I distinguish between morning anxiety and morning tiredness?

Morning fatigue is often a feeling of physical exhaustion and sluggishness upon awakening, while morning anxiety involves a feeling of worry or nervousness. If you experience anxiety and worry in the morning, rather than just tiredness, it could be a sign of morning anxiety.

Can morning anxiety lead to other health problems?

Constant anxiety, including morning anxiety, can eventually contribute to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, digestive problems and sleep disorders. It is therefore important to develop strategies to manage anxiety and seek help if it is affecting your health.

Are there natural supplements that can help with morning anxiety?

Some natural supplements such as magnesium and B vitamins have been shown to have a calming effect and can help manage anxiety. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements.

How can I talk to my family or friends about my morning anxiety?

Being open and honest is the best way to talk about your morning anxiety with family and friends. Share your experience and how it affects you. Seeking understanding and support from your loved ones can be an important part of your coping process.

Can morning anxiety be linked to dreams or nightmares?

Yes, sometimes morning anxiety can be linked to dreams or nightmares. Stressful or unpleasant dreams can affect your state of mind when you wake up, leading to feelings of anxiety in the morning. Processing these dreams through therapy or diary writing can be helpful.

Is it normal to feel anxious after a bad morning?

It is quite common to feel anxiety after a difficult morning. Feelings of failure or frustration at not being able to start the day as planned can contribute to these feelings. It is important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that everyone has challenging days.

Are there specific exercises that can reduce morning anxiety?

Light stretching, yoga, or breathing exercises can be very effective in reducing morning anxiety. These exercises help release tension in the body and promote a sense of calm and presence, which can relieve anxiety.

Can mindfulness or meditation help with morning anxiety?

Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for managing morning anxiety. These practices help to center the mind, reduce stress, and increase awareness of the present moment, which can reduce feelings of anxiety.

What role does self-care play in the management of morning anxiety?

Self-care is an important part of managing morning anxiety. This includes taking time to relax, doing activities you enjoy, and making sure you get enough sleep and good nutrition. Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally can make a big difference in how you deal with anxiety.

Does social media affect morning anxiety?

Social media can affect morning anxiety, especially if it is used right after waking up. Comparing yourself to others or being exposed to negative news can increase feelings of worry and anxiety. It can be helpful to limit social media use in the morning and start the day with more calming activities.

How can I adapt my morning routine to reduce anxiety?

Adapt your morning routine by including activities that promote calmness and well-being. This could be things like spending time meditating, journaling, eating a nutritious breakfast, or just allowing yourself some extra time to wake up and get going. Avoiding rushing in the morning can also reduce anxiety levels.

Could morning anxiety be an indicator of something more serious?

While morning anxiety itself does not necessarily indicate a more serious health problem, persistent or very intense morning anxiety can be a sign of underlying conditions such as anxiety disorders or depression. If your anxiety is severe or interferes with your daily life, it is important to seek professional help.

Morning anxiety: Steps to manage and overcome it

Waking up with a feeling of anxiety is a common experience for many people. Morning anxiety can feel overwhelming, but there are strategies to manage and gradually reduce its effect on your daily life. Here is a step-by-step guide to deal with morning anxiety.

1: Identify the cause

Try to identify what is causing your morning anxiety. It could be stress at work, relationships, financial worries, or health-related issues. Keeping a journal can help you identify recurring patterns and triggers.

2: Create a morning routine

Create a morning routine that includes time for relaxation and positive activities. Meditation and breathing exercises can help calm your mind and reduce anxiety levels.

3: Sleep quality

Ensure you have a regular sleep routine and a comfortable sleeping environment as this is fundamental to good sleep. Limit the intake of caffeine and avoid screen exposure before bedtime.

4: Healthy lifestyle choices

Physical activity is effective in reducing anxiety and improving mood. A nutritious diet can have a positive effect on your mental health.

5: Self-help strategies

Remind yourself of your strengths and successes. Keeping a gratitude journal and focusing on positive aspects of your life can help change your perspective.

6: Seek professional help

Consider talking to a psychologist or therapist. Sometimes it can help to share experiences with others who are facing similar challenges.

A first step in seeking help

Remember that dealing with morning anxiety is a process and it takes time to see change. Be patient with yourself and acknowledge every step you take towards a calmer and more harmonious life. Our therapists and psychologists are happy to support you along the way. We make the difficult easier.

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Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.