Did you wake up depressed and tired? The good news is there are ways to help. A diurnal variation known as morning depression happens to more people than you think.
Sometimes these changes in overall mood happen rapidly and randomly. The strange thing is, people often just think it’s grogginess or a normal process of waking up, but it’s not. Morning depression is characterized by several symptoms that may differ from the normal process of waking.
Symptoms of morning depression
This diurnal variation can cause similar symptoms to normal waking moods, especially negative feelings, but they are a bit different. First of all, a person with a case of depression that originates in the morning will have severe difficulty waking up. This can be even to the point of physically forcing oneself out of bed at all.
There will also be a difficulty in clear thinking, so talking about important subjects wouldn’t be advisable. Morning depression causes over-sleeping, and then when you’re finally out of bed, routine tasks will be hard to complete. It’s like a cloud is there already, hanging over your head before you even wake.
Why do we feel this way?
While there aren’t any rock-solid causes of morning depression, there are a few ideas about why this may happen. Hormonal problems may be the culprit of these issues, as you have two major players in the sleep/wake cycle: melatonin and cortisol.
If these hormones are displaced, say melatonin is more prevalent during the day, you will feel tired and fatigued. Melatonin is created to help you fall asleep, and if it’s not regulated correctly, your circadian rhythms will be off. This can greatly affect the way you feel the following morning.
Other contributors to feeling depressed in the morning could be substance abuse, medical conditions, trauma or genetic causes. There are many reasons, you see. So it’s important to understand how to cope with variation in emotions, so we can start off the day in the right way.
Ways to cope with this depression
1. Improving sleep environment
Making improvements in your sleep environment can change the way you feel when you wake up. This is because these changes help you sleep better, thus you feel better in general. Some things to consider when setting up your sleep environment:
- turn off televisions,
- keep the room dark and cool,
- eliminate any other distractions.
Usually, your mood can be a bit lighter if you’re not still fighting sleeplessness.
2. Wake up earlier
If you have depression in the morning, and you sleep as long as you can before work, then change this. Instead, get up earlier and do something before you have to get ready for work. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s productive and you stay busy. Why does this help? It’s because doing something in the morning before work reduces morning humdrum and you feel more energized for your job.
3. Turn on the lights immediately
As soon as you wake up, either open a curtain or switch on an overhead light. Light is a great weapon against depression because of how depression interacts with vitamin D. If you can get up and quickly open that window, you are letting natural light come into the room and lifting your mood. It’s amazing how fast this works. After a while, depression in the morning will be greatly reduced.
4. Keep it consistent
Keeping your sleep patterns consistent, in the first place, eliminates much of the blues you feel when you wake up. It feels more natural to get up, and you stand a better chance of getting a full 6-8 hours of sleep during the night. Since the body and mind are connected, and the body needs enough rest, then keeping it consistent is just a smart move.
5. Refrain from caffeine before bedtime
Never drink coffee or soda right before bedtime. Although these beverages provide temporary energy, they can cause grogginess in the morning time. And when I say bedtime, this would actually be best consumed before 6 or 8 p.m. to reduce the chances of having an effect on your sleep.
6. Stop ruminating before sleep
You know those worries and situations you haven’t figured out yet, yeah, those cause a lack of sleep. Lack of sleep means feeling worse in the morning. Those thoughts you entertain for some time even for hours as you lay in the dark can also resurface as soon as you wake up.
This is because you’ve meditated on problems instead of calm meditations and trying to clear the mind. I’ve found that laying in bed thinking about shapes and putting them together is a good way to help me drift off to sleep. I usually feel better when I wake. I think it’s because exercises like that are simplistic and calming.
7. Prepare for the morning routines
Before you go to bed, maybe lay out the clothes you will wear to work or your children’s clothing. You can prepare part of breakfast, you can make notes as reminders of things so you won’t forget, and stuff of that nature.
Did you know that those ruminations at night are sometimes trying not to forget something for the next day? Making preparations for the next morning can reduce depression simply because it reduces stress.
It’s time to wake up refreshed!
Wouldn’t it feel good to wake up with a spring in your step and a smile on your face? Yeah, I bet you pictured a silly cartoon character jumping out of bed. Well, it’s possible to get close to this feeling and ward off quite a bit of morning depression.
So, try these things, try something you haven’t done before. Instead of just falling into bed, try creating a place that your body and mind will enjoy waking up to. I know I’m going to try a few of these for myself.
Copyright © 2012-2022 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.