Recognizing and Treating Morning Depression
Do you have repetitive occurrences of morning depression? Many people feel that they suffer from heightened feelings of depression and/or anxiety in the early hours of the morning than at any other time of day or night. Does this ring true with you as well? Read on to learn more about this condition and ways that you can fight early morning moodiness!
Diurnal Mood Variation
This condition is a severe form of depression in which one experiences stronger mood fluctuations at a particular time during the day. Many people describe the experience as feeling so depressed in the morning that the thought of getting out of bed seems impossible. Feelings of emptiness and sadness seem to be heightened at this time and many find that they often fall asleep again in an attempt to avoid having to face the day. Anxiety towards having to face the day is often reported with diurnal mood variation. One has to muster up the energy simply to get up, get dressed, and begin their day. Eventually, as the morning wears on, one begins to feel better and better until they are functioning “normally.”
Causes of Morning Depression
Unfortunately, scientists know that diurnal mood variation exists as is evidenced by countless cases, however they are unsure just what exactly causes this condition. It is theorized that morning depression may simply be a side effect one one’s biological clock being off. When we say the term “biological clock,” we are actually talking about the built-in sensory that the body has which enables it to become accustomed to routine. The biological clock is the reason why we find ourselves waking up a minute before the alarm goes off or having trouble adjusting in a different time zone. The theory about diurnal mood variation is that if the biological clock is not just as it should be in a person, they may be physically predisposed to function better at later times in the day. Have you ever heard people refer to themselves as a “night owl” or an “afternoon person?” They may simply have a slight difference in their biological clock which causes them to function poorly in the morning or better at other times in the day.
Light is one of the key factors to influence this condition. Take for instance the fact that statistics have proven that people are more likely to experience depression during the winter season. It is thought that this depression is linked to the decrease in daylight during this time. The change in daylight hours has an undeniable effect on the body’s internal clock, tricking it into feeling off course. There is also a link between daylight and the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, both of which can contribute to depression. When the body receives less daylight, the levels of melatonin increase. Normally there would be a natural balance between melatonin and serotonin which would enable the body to function throughout the day and trigger the need to sleep. When this balance becomes upset, sleep may come too early or too late which then results in upsetting the biological clock.
Ways to Combat Morning Depression
The best thing you can do for yourself if you experience morning depression is to visit your doctor. Explain the symptoms that you feel in the morning and your usual way of handling them. Antidepressants work quite well to treat depression of all types, although they are not without side effects. Your doctor should discuss the possible side effects with you before you begin treatment. If you are against medication, or would prefer to try a natural remedy first, consider leaving a little lavender oil near your bed or placing fresh lavender under your pillow. Lavender has been used for centuries as an aromatherapy treatment to induce calmness and ease tension and anxiety. Also try to void fatty and caffeinated foods before bed. Keeping your body energized in the night through fats and caffeine can cause you to wake up feeling the “low” that inevitably follows this type of food. Take measures to ensure that you get around eight hours of good quality sleep each night.