‘I’m so not a morning person is something you might say if you always wake up grumpy, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you know the common reasons for your mood and how to change it into a more positive one.  Knowing the root causes of grumpy mornings will help you understand why people do it and how to avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed as soon as tomorrow.

5 Reasons People Wake Up Grumpy (And How To Avoid It)

If you’re not a morning person, you probably hate morning people or wish they would be cheerful somewhere else. It’s not that you’re depressed in the morning, and nothing has happened yet to make you angry, but somehow you just don’t feel positive first thing in the morning.

Your mood can be affected by many things, from what you ate or drank the day before to what was on your mind before bed.


1. Sleeping wrong

Waking up achy will put you in a grumpy mood, and many of us ‘sleep wrong’ even without knowing that we are doing it. Since we spend 6-8 hours per night in bed, it is important to have a good, supportive mattress, a pillow that doesn’t push your neck into an awkward position, and to sleep in the right position all night too.

Millions of people wake up grumpy because of hip, back, neck, or jaw pain. Side sleeping can pressure the hip joint, which causes pain when you wake up. Sleeping with a pillow that is too full will push your neck into an awkward position toward your chest or shoulder, which then causes you to feel pain when you wake up. Some people grind their teeth at night, which can cause dental pain and problems and jaw muscle pain.

Waking up in pain is sure to make you grumpy. How best to avoid this, use a pillow that is softer than usual if you have neck pain. This will allow your neck to fall lower than usual into a more natural position about the rest of your body. A down substitute or buckwheat pillow is a good option. Sleep on your back for the best natural position for your spine. Ask your dentist to fit you for a mouth guard to keep your jaw in a relaxed position as y

2. A nightcap before bed

One glass of wine before bed won’t hurt, will it? According to one study, it could be one reason you wake up grumpy. Although alcohol can make you feel drowsy, and it is a sedative, its effect on your ability to get good, deep sleep is negative.

The researchers say ‘alcohol may exert an arousal influence which may compete with the sleep maintenance influence of increased delta activity. The phenomenon is similar to, or the same as, alpha-delta sleep which has been associated with the presence of disruptive stimuli during sleep.’ So that nightcap before bed keeps you from getting deep sleep, making you grumpy in the morning. Skip the drink, and change your morning mood.

3. Skipping breakfast

Okay you’ve definitely heard this one before, but eating breakfast in the morning can improve your level of grumpiness when you wake up. Researchers at Northumbria University tested the relationship between morning mood, having breakfast, and exercise and found that breakfast helped improve morning mood.

4. A lack of exercise

The Northumbria University researchers also found that breakfast improved mood, even after a workout. Exercise was also found to help improve mood and the ability to think clearly after breakfast. The scientists found that exercise improves cognitive performance after eating breakfast. Interestingly, the researcher found that if you skip breakfast and still have a morning workout, having a post-workout snack like almond milk will also improve your mood.


5. It’s genetic

Well, this one might be tough to avoid, but it’s possible that your genes are a reason that you wake up grumpy. Researchers found that a small percentage of the population have a genetic mutation that shows a link between mood and circadian clock sleep cycles. People with this genetic variant are more likely to suffer from Seasonal-Affective Disorder (SAD) and have depression during winter when there is lower light.

People with this grumpy morning genetic variation also generally suffer from irregular sleep cycles. The researchers also found this genetic mutation in fruit flies and mice. Although you can’t cure your genes, there is some hope from the research that found that people with this mutation also have lower levels of a protein that helps regulate sleep.