Why do we feel angry when we wake up

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

I am angry

I pretty sure you woke up once feeling angry to the extent that you wanted pick up a fight with anyone or anything. Of course sleeping while feeling angry can result in feelings of anger the next day but this isn't the case i want to discuss.

I this article i will talk about the times where you go to sleep feeling OK then you wake up the next day feeling very angry for no apparent reason. The first obvious reason for that phenomenon is not getting enough sleep and by saying not getting enough sleep i am referring to the quality of sleep not the number of hours.

When your body and mind doesn't rest well as a result of poor sleep quality you will usually wake up feeling irritated. This irritation can turn into anger when the slightest thing happens.

What will happen during the day

Sometimes the main reason for the bad emotions we get right after waking up are the expectations we have for the day. If for example you knew you had to do irritating tasks on a certain day then you might wake up feeling angry because of those tasks you are expecting. See also feeling bad after waking up.

I have said earlier that as soon as we wake up our minds scan their memories to find out about the things we have to do on that new day. If those things seemed irritating or unappealing then we can find ourselves feeling angry.

And because all of that happens on the unconscious level a person simply finds himself feeling angry without knowing what's going on.

In addition to all that waking up late can result in a lot of anger. This only happens if you have important tasks to do on that day or if you needed to wake up early. In such a case as soon as you wake up you will realize that you don't have enough time because you slept a lot and so you will become angry.

What happened during your sleep

As strange as it sounds it's still one of the facts that could make you wake up feeling angry.
If you had certain dreams at night that made you angry then you could wake up feeling angry the next day. Of course in most cases people don't remember those dreams but they just wake up feeling angry without understanding what happened.

The dreams you have at night affect your mood the next day and so depending on the intensity of the dreams your emotions can change with varying degrees the next day. See How Dreams affect your mood.

What you can do about it

It's hard to take a corrective action before you know what's going on. This is why you need to think first in order to understand why you got such an angry mood. Let's suppose you realized that waking up late was the main problem.

In such a case you should develop a solid plan to never allow yourself to over sleep again. Next you need to start running to get your important tasks done so that this anger goes away. After all that feeling was there because a part inside you believed that you won't have time to finish your important tasks.

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