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How Can I Deal with Panic and Anxiety in the Morning?

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Updated October 05, 2012

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Learn to cope with morning anxiety.

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Question: How Can I Deal with Panic and Anxiety in the Morning?

Experiencing excess anxiety in the morning is a common issue for people with anxiety disorders. People with panic disorder often complain about increased symptoms and panic attacks during this time of day. Since morning anxiety can slow you down and put a damper on your day, many people with this issue wonder if there's anything they can do about it.

Answer:

Fortunately, there are some techniques that may just help you deal with this common issue. Don’t let morning anxiety zap you of your energy or ruin your day; instead, follow these tips to start your day off feeling clearer and calmer.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Your sleep routine may play an important role in preventing morning anxiety. Poor sleep habits, such as an inability to fall asleep, waking up throughout the night, or not getting enough sleep can all impact the way you feel in the morning. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. It's important to get enough rest at night in order to feel alert, calmer, and refreshed when you wake up.

Anxiety can increase if you're constantly checking your clock throughout the night and stressing about whether you'll get enough rest. Restlessness throughout the night may also be contributing to your increased panic and anxiety symptoms in the morning. Work on improving your sleep hygiene, and consult your doctor to discuss treatment options if you're experiencing sleep issues and are unable to get enough rest.

Start the Day Out Right

Starting the day off on the wrong foot can be difficult to shake off for the rest of the day. Ask yourself what your mornings are typically like. Do you often feel rushed and unprepared for the day? Morning anxiety can be due to starting the day off unorganized and in a hurry. To prevent hectic mornings, plan for your morning before you go to bed. It can help to have your clothes laid out and have everything that's needed for work packed up and ready to go the night before.

If you have children, it can be helpful to also have them on regular morning routine. Packing school bags and preparing lunches the night before can help keep the morning calm. Additionally, always give yourself the necessary amount of time to get ready in the morning. Feeling rushed can make you feel worried and agitated, potentially increasing your anxiety and panic symptoms.

Take A Moment to Relax

You can also slow down and the start the day off right by learning to relax a little in the morning. Relaxation techniques are activities that are designed to help you release tensions of both the body and mind. Some of the most common relaxation techniques include:

Watch Your Diet and Exercise

Certain foods and substances have been found to impact people with panic disorder. Although many people enjoy starting the day off with a cup of coffee, too much caffeine can increase your morning anxiety and potentially trigger panic attacks. Caffeine is also present in sodas, chocolate, and teas. You may want to cut back on your caffeine consumption to see if this helps decrease your morning anxiety. In order to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and irritability, gradually decrease the amount you consume.

Aside from your diet, you should also consider how exercise is impacting your morning anxiety. Studies have also shown that regular physical exercise can improve your quality of sleep and decrease anxiety levels. Other benefits of maintaining an exercise routine include: reduced muscle pain and tension, increased physical fitness, and stress reduction. But be careful about exercising too close to your bedtime. Since exercise can increase your energy levels, you may actually stay up too late or be unable to sleep when exercising right before bed.

Get Professional Help

If your morning anxiety persists or becomes unmanageable, you should seek out professional help. It's possible that your current medications for panic disorder or other conditions are contributing to your morning anxiety—an issue that can be determined by your doctor.

Your doctor will be able to help create a treatment plan that will address your symptoms and rule out any potential issues with medications. He or she will also be able to provide you with additional information to assist you in managing panic attacks and morning anxiety.

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