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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
I Wake Up Angry in the Mornings
I sleep all through the night but I wake up in the morning feeling like I only just went to sleep. When I feel that way, I am angry to the point of wanting to have a go at everybody around me. I don`t know what to do about it. Why am I not feeling rested in the morning?
Not feeling rested after a night of adequate sleep can be frustrating. Feeling irritable and like you just went to sleep when it is time to get up should be considered abnormal and usually signals there is a problem with your sleep. Without knowing further information about you, your sleep and your medical history, it’s impossible to say why you feel the way you do. However, most causes of unrefreshing sleep can be identified and treated, so you should remain hopeful.
It’s possible that you may be simply suffering from a lack of adequate sleep. While we don't completely understand the reasons we sleep and what the function of sleep is, growing research suggests that adequate sleep is important for feeling our best and for maintaining optimal health. Studies have found that individuals that are sleep deprived tend to feel unrested, be more irritable and anxious, and have reduced concentration. And while individual sleep needs vary, most adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep on a nightly basis to feel and function at their best.
If you are getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, then there are a number of potential reasons for why your sleep may not be refreshing, many of which have to do with factors or conditions that may interrupt or fragment sleep. Keep in mind that we are not always aware when our sleep is interrupted or fragmented. Some possible causes of nonrestorative sleep include:
- A poor sleep environment (too loud, too brightly lit)
- Anxiety or stress
- Sleep apnea (a condition where individuals struggle to breath in their sleep)
- Periodic limb movement disorder (frequent leg twitches in sleep)
- Painful conditions
- Certain medical conditions such as heartburn
- Asthma or heart disease, certain medications
- Excessive use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine
How best to treat your problem really depends on obtaining more information so that appropriate treatments can be recommended. It would be a good idea to discuss your problem with your primary care doctor. After a thorough history and physical examination, the doctor can decide if a treatment strategy can be pursued or if a referral to a Sleep Specialist is needed. A Sleep Specialist can determine if specific testing is needed or treatments can be recommended. Most sleep-related disorders can be successfully treated with a fairly high degree of success.
If you would like further information about sleep disorders or sleep itself, I recommend the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website. In addition to information about sleep medicine, the website also contains a list of accredited Sleep Centers and may help you to locate one nearest you. Another website with plenty of patient-friendly information is Sleep Education.com. Good Luck!
Dennis Auckley, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University