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Is Perimenopause Anxiety In The Morning Normal? 

 July 27, 2020

By  Dana LaVoie, LAc

Is perimenopause anxiety in the morning normal 

That feeling where your heart starts pounding, then your brain goes into overdrive trying find the threat, and it feels like there are a million butterflies in your stomach... 

Is it normal to wake up feeling like this just because you're in perimenopause? 

That's what we're talking about in this blog.  We'll look at:

  1. Why this kind of anxiety is common but not normal
  2. All the little things that can contribute to this morning anxiety and make it worse and
  3. What you can do to get relief

Morning anxiety in perimenopause is common but not normal - here's why

Mackie Vadacchino says "Anxiety is one of the most common perimenopause symptoms, and many women find that they often experience it in the morning."

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Why morning anxiety is common

It's true we (women) become more sensitive to stress during menopause.

And because we're more sensitive to stress during perimenopause,  it becomes easier and takes less provocation for our stress hormone levels to rise.

This means our bodies are releasing surges of our stress hormones including cortisol more and more often. (Click here to read about the mechanism behind how the hormonal changes of perimenopause cause stress to increase.

So it's common for our generalized stress and anxiety levels to rise 24/7.


Why morning anxiety is not "normal"

Why do i say morning anxiety is not normal just because your going through menopause?  

Because if your hormones go through the changes of menopause in a harmonius way - not dropping too suddenly or ever dropping too low - and they stay harmonized with each other while they all change...

Yes you can have some increased sensitivity to stress - but it will be mild.

It's only when your hormones are struggling to change in a balance way that the stress and anxiety become severe.

So that's why I say its common but not normal.

And this is also why some women never experience severe anxiety or stress during menopause - it's totally possible - in fact its the way your body was designed - so let's talk about how to get back to that. 


What contributes to anxiety worsening in the morning during perimenpause? 

What causes increased generalized stress or anxiety to surge in the morning in particular? 

All the sources and studies seem to agree that high anxiety in the morning is a spike that happens when your overall stress & anxiety level is pretty high to begin with.

One of the reasons for the morning spike in anxiety can be that cortisol - one of your stress hormones - is normally at its highest in the first hour after waking!  (It's called the coritsol awakening response)  So if your morning rise in cortisol means stress is going from high to higher - it can manifest as anxiety - again - it's about your baseline level of stress being high already. 

But there are also a few things that contribute to a morning spike in anxiety:

  • Low blood sugar can worsen morning anxiety
  • Dehydration can trigger your nervous system and trigger worsening anxiety (and if you're dehydrated in general itll likely be worst in the morning after not drinking all night)
  • Poor sleep can increase morning anxiety
  • Agitated thoughts just before falling asleep may also make it worse


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Finally understand what's going on with your hormones - and what you can do about it

solutions - what can you do to reduce morning anxiety?


General stress management

Because morning anxiety is a sypmtom of high generalized anxiety & stress, things that help manage your overall stress levels 24/7 are the first line of defense.

These include regularly practicing

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Regular exercise
  • Eating to balance your blood sugar
  • Avoiding or reducing caffeine and sugar especially in the aftenroon and evening

Specific tips to reduce morning anxiety at menopause

Stay ahead of hydration. 

Start hydrating when you first wake and drink plenty of water all day long and a small glass of warm water just before bed.


Stabilize blood sugar

Have a bedtime snack to prevent overnight low blood sugar - fruit and nuts is a great one.  Yougurt and fruit can work as well.


Reduce stimulants 

Avoid caffeine completely or at least in the afternoon and evening.


Relax at bedtime

Do something truly relaxing and keep from planning or worrying in the last 2 hours before bed

Keep your bedroom quiet and cool

Make sure you dont hvae to rush through your morning activities - even if it means getting up 10 minutes earlier.


Hormonal solutions

Because increased anxiety may be caused by hormonal imbalance, in addition to addressing the stress & anxiety directly with stress management - address your hormones.

Are your hormones harmonized?  Are any of them dropping too low?

You want to keep them all high enough and in good harmony and in the right ratio with each other even while they're changing like crazy during perimenpause.  

If your increased anxiety is due to the hormonal changes of the menpausal transition, addressing your hormonal balance can cut your anxiety off at the root. 

Once the underlying hormones are balanced, just a few minutes of deep breathing a day can be all you need to keep stress levels from rising.

Without addressing the underlying hormonal cause - you can do an awful lot of meditation and still fell like you're trying to hold onto a bucking bronco when it comes to managing your stress levels. 


Let's sum up your understanding of - and solutions for - morning anxiety in perimenpause

Morning anxiety is usually a byproduct of higher generalized anxiety sometimes made worse by dehydration, low blood sugar, or feeling stressed right before bed.

Solutions are - regular stress management like meditation, breathing exercises, regular exercise, balanced blood sugar, good hydration, reducing caffeine and sugar, good sleep habits, and a snack before bed.

Another important part of the solution is addressing an underlying hormonal cause of higher stress levels if there is one (and it's very common that there is is the anxiety got worse during menopause.) 


Here's how to get started managing morning anxiety

  1. Check out the free resources below for help addressing your underlying hormonal levels and hormonal balance. I especially recommend the mini-course on herbs for menopause (the link is just below and it's free,) because this is the best way to address that underlying hormonal imbalance.  And without doing that meditating is like trying to walk through a door that is closed.  Balancing hormones can be like opening that door. 

Important note about anxity

If you have symptoms of anxiety or depression that are severe and are keeping you from functioning, I encourage you to look into the possibility of a hormonal cause... But you must also seek treatment.  Get help.  Don't suffer alone, and dont wait too long.  You could have a non-hormonal depression or anxiety disorder that needs to be addressed.

So if your morning anxiety affects your daily functioning or quality of life, be sure to see your primary care doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. It's best to not carry the burden of your worries on your own shoulders. Let someone who's trained in treating anxiety disorders help you feel better and get well.

And remember, there's a reason why anxiety increases during menopause.  

Once you understand whey it's happening you can feel better by combining balancing your hormones with stress management practices.  

You can feel great during & after menopause.  You can enjoy menopause.  I'd love to help you make that happen. 

Ready to start feeling better?  Let me help with these Free Resources

Level 1: Take An Easy First Step
Level 2:  Get The Biggest Results

MY HORMONE-BALANCING SMOOTHIE RECIPE & DIET TIPS

LEARN WHAT MOST WOMEN DON'T KNOW ABOUT USING HERBAL REMEDIES


Thanks so much for joining me today!  Please put your questions & comments in the comments section below, I'd truly love to hear from you!

Or you can post them in my free private facebook group, or ask them during my live Q and As on my facebook page!



This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about Chinese medicine in your diet, lifestyle, and supplements and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not personalized health advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.  For my full Disclaimer, please go to https://danalavoielac.com/disclaimer-2/


Dana LaVoie, LAc


Hi, I'm Dana, an Acupuncturist & Herbalist with over 15 years' experience specializing in women's health. I'm here to show you how to use customized Chinese Herbs supported by the best diet and lifestyle for your hormones to feel amazing during & after menopause.

Dana Lavoie, LAc

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