Waking Up at Dawn May Mean You’ve Reached Your Stress Breaking Point
A stress breaking point and morning insomnia are closely connected to each other. According to their sleeping patterns, people are divided into 2 categories: larks and owls. The larks start their mornings at dawn while the owls are just going to bed at that time. But sometimes the mental state of a person makes them wake up early even if they don’t intend to. If this happens to you, it may be a good idea to look deeper inside of yourself to understand the cause.
Bright Side deeply explored anxiety, stress, burning out, and insomnia to understand the connection between them and we’d love to let you in on what we’ve learned.
You feel restless in the early morning.
If you’ve ever woken up early in the morning and immediately felt wide awake and anxious, it might be a sign that you’ve reached your stress breaking point. A breaking point puts great strain on you and you can’t get rid of this pressure. This unpleasant feeling indicates a burnout brought on by your daily activities. Your emotions, body, and brain are exhausted and lose all their defenses against emotional stress.
Daily activities bring both pleasant and unpleasant feelings into our lives. A hard day at work, a quarrel with a co-worker, a misunderstanding with a partner, or impending final exams can easily trigger your anxiety. An unstoppable swarm of thoughts doesn’t let your mind calm down even when you sleep. At first, you may not be able to fall into a deep sleep or you have persistent nightmares. This can build over time.
In the end, your overstressed mind surrenders, you lose control, and wake up way earlier than you’re used to. This looks like an explosion of feelings and thoughts, but this is just your brain trying to cope with all the pressure.
Uncontrolled stress causes morning anxiety and surprisingly, it’s quite common. It brings up many unpleasant feelings, forcing you to start your day off on a negative note, and preventing you from enjoying your day. People who suffer from morning anxiety constantly feel restless and “on edge”. This is usually accompanied by irritability, lack of concentration, drowsiness, and even panic attacks.
The stress that anxiety causes is harmful to your body. It increases risks of conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, asthma, and many more.
It’s time to reconsider your lifestyle.
When your body experiences a lot of stress, it starts producing adrenaline and cortisol that have negative effects on memory and productivity. Too much cortisol brings on a blood sugar imbalance, a decrease in muscle tissue, lowered immunity, and increased abdominal fat. Studies say that people with an increased level of stress have the highest concentration of cortisol during the first hour of waking up. This increases their morning anxiety.
Another risk that bad sleep brings is a slowed down metabolism that causes fatigue. To reduce the production of cortisol in your body, there are several methods that can help.
Take a relaxing bath.
Give yourself some love before you go to bed and take a warm shower or bubble bath with some bath bombs. Warm water relaxes the muscles, lowers body tension, and reduces anxiety. You can also try taking a cold shower since it has the ability to stimulate anti-depression hormones and promotes the production of endorphins, the hormone that contributes to feeling happy.
Read a novel.
Something as simple as reading a novel has the ability to reduce anxiety and give us encouragement. This psychological phenomenon is called bibliotherapy, or therapy with books. Good, interesting stories have a soothing effect, which is why it’s nice to make this activity a regular habit before you go to sleep.
Exercising not only improves your physical condition and immune system but it also helps to stay mentally healthy. Playing sports improves alertness, concentration, cognitive function, and reduces fatigue. It’s also been proven that exercising encourages the brain to produce hormones of happiness like endorphins, and enhances the ability to sleep.
Avoid looking at your phone at night.
Smartphones, tablets, and even TV screens in your bedroom produce blue light that can cause problems with sleep. Blue light stops the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep, and as a result, causes insomnia and early morning stress. So, it’s better to turn your devices off at bedtime and give your body some well-deserved rest.
Drinking water can help to fight stress! Your inner organs, heart, and brain can’t live without water. As soon as the body is dehydrated it will give you a signal via stress. This can be stopped only by drinking a proper amount of water during the day. In addition, water cleanses and detoxifies your system.
Proper relaxation calms the mind down and reduces cortisol levels in the body. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and biofeedback will help you to achieve it. The best part about it is that you don’t need any special equipment to do it. Find a technique you like, turn on some soft music, and let it lead you gradually to a state of tranquility.
Vitamins and minerals like magnesium, chromium, vitamin B, vitamin C, antioxidants, and plant-derived herbs and foods such as St. John’s wort, oats, and chamomile can help to reduce stress. Consult with your doctor before taking any of these on a daily basis, or just eat fruits and vegetables that contain them. Among them are:
- Magnesium — avocados and nuts
- Chromium — broccoli, potatoes, apples, bananas, and grapes
- B vitamins — broccoli, spinach, and kailan
- C vitamins — oranges and tangerines
Have you ever experienced morning insomnia? Do you know even more ways to prevent and treat it? Let’s have a discussion in the comment section!
Preview photo credit Lost in Translation / Focus Features