Why Do I Wake Up Crying For No Reason?

Why Do I Wake Up Crying For No Reason

It’s normal to experience feelings of sadness from time to time. In fact, some people say they feel better after crying. But if these feelings persist, it could mean something else is going on.

Sadness is a natural emotion that everyone experiences at times. When you’re feeling down, try talking to someone who cares about you.

If you don’t want to talk to anyone, then consider taking a break from social media, read our article on how to disconnect from social media. You can also try getting more exercise and eating healthier.

What Causes Adults And Children To Wake Up Crying?

Waking Up Crying: Diurnal Mood Variation

The term diurnal means “throughout the day.” Moods change throughout the day as we go through our daily routines. For example, when we first wake up, we tend to be sleepy.

As the day progresses, we start to think more clearly and feel more energetic. We might even feel happy.

When we begin to feel tired, stressed, anxious, or depressed, this is called circadian rhythm disruption (CRD). CRD happens when our body clock gets out of sync with the outside world.

This can happen due to changes in light levels, jet lag, shift work, or irregular sleep schedules.

When your body clock doesn’t match up with the surrounding environment, you’ll find yourself experiencing mood swings throughout the day, and you may also be waking up crying during the night.

Buried Grief & Sleep

One theory says that when we bury our emotions, we end waking up with negative thoughts and feelings which may cause waking up crying.

One study found that people who buried their emotions were more likely to wake up crying than those who talked about their feelings. They also had higher rates of depression and anxiety. To understand more about this, you might find our article on why do I feel like I’m losing everyone insightful.

Why Did I Wake up Crying? Stress

wake up crying

Another theory suggests that stress causes us to cry more frequently. Stress hormones like cortisol make us feel tense and emotional. These hormones are released when we’re under pressure or facing stressful situations.

Stress can trigger physical reactions like sweating, increased heart rate, and muscle tension. All of these can leave us feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. Stress can also lead us to wake up crying.

I Woke Up Crying. Night Terrors 

Some experts believe that nightmares can contribute to waking up crying. Nightmares occur when a person has an intense dream where he or she feels afraid or confused. The person wakes up feeling scared and upset.

Sleep Deprivation

why do i wake up crying

People who don’t get enough sleep often wake up crying because they’re not getting the rest they need. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce less melatonin, which helps regulate our sleep cycles.

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. Melatonin plays an important role in regulating our sleep cycle. If we don’t get enough melatonin, it can affect our ability to fall asleep at night and stay asleep throughout the night.

Melatonin production decreases as we age. This makes it harder for older people to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If you wake up crying every morning, talk to your doctor about whether there could be another cause. You might want to consider taking steps to improve your sleeping habits. Additionally, our resource on how to get rid of anxiety nausea might offer some helpful tips.

How Can I Stop Waking Up Crying?

You can take some simple steps to help prevent waking up crying:

Set a bedtime routine. Make sure you have a consistent schedule each weeknight. Create a relaxing ritual before going to bed. Try reading a book, listening to music, or meditating.

Get plenty of sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Avoid caffeine after noon. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and keeps you awake. It’s best to avoid coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, and other caffeinated drinks after lunch.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol affects your brain chemistry and can interfere with your sleep patterns.

Exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, which calm you down and promote relaxation. Exercising several times each week will help keep you from being stressed out all day long.

waking up crying

Try eating healthy foods. Eating well-balanced meals rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins can help give you energy and support healthy weight loss.

Reduce stress. Learn how to manage your stress levels so you won’t wake up crying. Talk to a friend or family member about what’s stressing you out. Take deep breaths and try to relax.

Take care of yourself. Get regular checkups and screenings. Eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest.

If these implemented lifestyle changes don’t prevent you from waking up crying then talk to your doctor if you wake up crying every day.

He or she may recommend additional tests to rule out medical conditions that could be causing your symptoms like depression.

Understanding the Emotional Triggers For Waking Up Crying

Sometimes, waking up crying can be a result of a vivid dream that triggers intense emotions. Nightmares or dreams about traumatic experiences can lead to emotional distress and cause people to wake up crying. It can also be a sign of unresolved emotional issues that need to be addressed.

In some cases, it may be related to a life change such as a move, job change, or relationship breakup. Emotional trauma can also play a part in this. It is essential to identify the emotional triggers and address them to prevent it from happening.


To conclude, waking up crying isn’t always due to anxiety. There are many reasons why someone would wake up crying. However, if you wake up crying frequently, talk to your doctor.

They can help you figure out what’s causing your problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I wake up crying after a bad dream?

Nightmares or bad dreams can trigger intense emotions that may cause you to wake up crying. It can be a sign of unresolved emotional issues or past trauma that needs to be addressed.

Can sleep apnea cause waking up crying?

Yes, sleep apnea can cause waking up crying. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep, which can lead to poor sleep quality and result in emotional distress.

How long does it take to stop waking up crying?

The duration of waking up crying depends on the underlying cause. If it is related to an emotional issue or trauma, it may take longer to resolve. Seeking professional help and practicing self-care can help speed up the healing process.


About our Author Michelle Landeros, LMFT license# 115130
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT

Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.

Last updated: July 13, 2024