Sadness in the morning: what is it due to?

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Robert Maurer
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Sadness in the morning: what is it due to?

Sadness in the morning can be the result of bad habits or insufficient rest. However, it can also be the manifestation of a mood disorder. How to distinguish one case from another?

Last update: February 19, 2022

There are many people who claim to feel sad in the morning, much more than at any other time of the day. Sometimes the sensation is very intense, even similar to major depressive disorder. As the hours go by, however, it tends to fade away. At night, for example, there may be none of that emotion left.



It is also called "morning depression". In short, it is a specific and different sensation compared to other forms of depression. The main feature is that it occurs only in the early hours of the day.

In some cases, sadness in the morning is not related to depression, but is the consequence of other causes. Sometimes it's not even temporary, but it's part of a more complex picture.

"Make your bedroom a sanctuary and be at peace with yourself."

-Antonio Sanchez-

What causes sadness in the morning?

According to what has been established, morning sadness is mainly due to three factors: depressive picture, inadequate rest and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

We speak of sadness in the morning, or morning depression, when the symptoms of depression are acute already at the beginning of the day, immediately after waking up. There is listlessness, apathy and a sense of emotional emptiness that does not go away. As the hours go by, however, the symptoms become milder, although they do not completely disappear.


Another reason why you may feel sadness is related to a bad night's sleep. He slept, but not a restful sleep. It is likely that the environmental conditions are not the most suitable or that there is a health problem that prevents you from sleeping well. Either way, the most likely thing is that you feel terrible in the morning.


Finally, this sad feeling appears when you drink alcohol before going to sleep. While this substance has a calming action, it alters sleep cycles, interrupting them during the night. On the other hand, alcohol is a nervous system depressant and its effect can be well felt the next morning.

Morning depression

Of all the reasons why you may feel sad in the morning, the most complex is morning depression. It is a condition that requires attention, as it can be the sign or the beginning of a disorder. Its main symptoms are:

  • Difficulty waking up or getting out of bed. Sensation of heavy eyelids, with the body seemingly unable to perform movements.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or constant nocturnal awakenings. It can be a symptom of a higher concentration of cortisol in the evening, i.e. more nighttime anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
  • Hypersomnia. Some people feel the need to sleep more than usual for no apparent reason. It can be a symptom of depression, but not always.
  • Wrong eating patterns. Eating too much or too little, especially in the evening, can be a sign of mood imbalance.
  • Lack of concentration. Difficulty concentrating on daily activities, doing multiple things at the same time or difficulty completing what you have started, even if it is not very complex.
  • Irritability or feeling of frustration. Most intense in the morning, but they persist to a lesser extent throughout the day.
  • Loss of interest and feeling of emptiness.

Sadness in the morning: what to do?

When this sensation is intense and is frequent, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Furthermore, one in five people with depression also suffer from sleep apnea. At the same time, there may be another health condition that affects good rest.



Night work, especially if it involves too much stress, can cause morning depression. In these situations, the body and mind become excessively fatigued, causing an imbalance that can manifest itself as a sense of sadness in the morning.

If something is bothering you or you feel a continuous sense of helplessness and hopelessness, you may need psychological support. The sooner you look for it, the greater its effectiveness. If not, apply all the measures of good sleep hygiene, so as to be able to rest properly.

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