Why do some people wake up grumpy?

Why do some people wake up grumpy?


Do you have trouble waking and getting out of bed? Do you feel a lack of energy at the start of the day? Do you have feelings of sadness and gloom? Throughout the day, people experience mood changes, but morning depression gives people variable highs and lows. But since morning depression occurs when you get out of bed, the suggested major factor is an imbalance in your circadian rhythm, commonly referred to as your body clock.

Everything from heart rate to body temperature is controlled by the body clock – also energy, alertness and mood. Your body clock signals the sleep-wake sequence. Hormones play a role, especially as night falls, because the body produces more melatonin through the pineal gland – the hormone that makes you sleepy. When the sun rises your body creates cortisol, which is the hormone that delivers you energy and alertness. Disrupt the rhythms and your body makes the hormones at the wrong time of the day. If your body was producing melatonin in the morning, you may feel tired and irritable.



So what causes the imbalance? Because without the proper signals, you can have difficulty falling asleep, maybe wake frequently during the night or don’t get enough deep sleep. Stress, light exposure, digital device radiation, hormone disparity, low blood sugar levels, diet – any of these could be possible factors. The internal mechanisms of your body clock need nurturing with consistent bed-time and hours of sleep.

Waking up grumpy in a bad mood or just feeling off is a good indication of your body clock disorder. You are not alone. It affects many, many people. Would you prefer to wake up cheerful – ready to take on the world? I hear a resounding yes, so maybe you need to address the issue of your sleep routine to reset your mood. Research reveals that circadian rhythms play an integral role in our physical and mental health.



Your depression is more than likely attributed to sleep deprivation and being over-tired. Fatigue can make you perceive negativity. Studies suggest that the brain frontal lobe, that usually filters negative feelings, is diminished from lack of sleep. Our modern lifestyle throws all sorts of curve balls at us, and it is incredibly easy to over-indulge in drinking, eating and tv binge watching.

Remember when your mum used to say “Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning?’’ Don’t let that be what your partner repeatedly says to you and impact your relationships.



A few lifestyle habits can be changed.

  • Eat well at dinner time and do not eat after 7pm. Stay clear of refined carbohydrates as this makes your blood sugar levels drop in the night. This leaves you feeling wearied and apathetic and will contribute hugely to your morning grumpiness. Research foods containing tryptophan, an essential amino acid-producing serotonin – the brain chemical implicated in normalising mood and sleep cycles.

  • Avoid foods that contain the amino acid tyramine which hinders sleep. No cheese and crackers snacks before bed.

  • Get tested by your Dr for a magnesium deficiency. Low levels of magnesium can leave you feeling tense and anxious. Magnesium is an essential body mineral that is easily depleted by stress. A tip to calm the nervous system. Run a hot bath and throw in a few tablespoons of Epsom Salts, as the magnesium will be absorbed through the skin.

  • Is your liver under stress from drinking each evening? This impacts the liver’s capacity to detoxify and sleep quality will be affected. Try drinking powdered vitamin C dissolved in water before going to bed.

  • Eat a healthy protein breakfast every day. It is crucial for elevating your grumpy mood. Avoid cereals and sugar-laden foods that will send your blood sugar levels into a roller coaster.

  • Get adequate sleep. The recommendation is for adults to go to bed between 10pm and 11pm and sleep for 8 hours. And to be consistent with this schedule to operate the body clock to its optimum. When binge watching a tv show it is so easy to say ‘’Just one more episode. Just one more’’ and before you know it, you are going to bed at 1:00am. Be tough and keep to the timetable.

  • Create a dark, silent, cool room that will be conducive to sleep.

  • Do not use your mobile phone for at least an hour before turning the light out. Smartphones emit blue light that restrains the production of melatonin, the important hormone for your body clock.

  • Limit caffeine, alcohol and smoking. Don’t go to bed hyped up.



Some alternatives that may assist include: – acupuncture, meditation, yoga, herbs, supplements, massage or tai chi. To achieve the ultimate power from your body clock, it is worth exploring the best avenue for you.

Please also consider that your issues may be more than just grumpiness in the mornings. A person with depression may have similar, but more intense, mood fluctuations. It would be advisable to talk to your Dr. if the depression is persistent. If it is just morning depression, the symptoms will disappear as the day progresses. And if you adopt some of the suggestions above, you may be able to put your feet on the floor with a broad smile on your face, set to tackle whatever the days events throw at you.

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