More anxiety upon first waking up?

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yaffa
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Date Joined Aug 2010
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   Posted 8/27/2010 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a question. Does anyone else experience more anxiety upon first waking up? That's when it seems to just get a hold of me. Is this a physiological symptom, or mental? My thought is that when I first wake up, I'm most vulnerable. If I take a Klonipin, my physical symptoms go away in about an hour. During that time, I feel awful, and can't think straight.
 
If anyone else gets this, please share with me.
 
Yaffa
 
<Edit> I added a title in your topic line.  Please remember to add one to all posts, thank you.

stkitt
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   Posted 8/27/2010 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Yaffa,
 
I had this probelm for a long time when I was going through a rough period.  I would wake up and my mind would launch into anxiety mode before I even got out of bed.  I would sometimes cry while still in bed from the feeling.
 
It went away finally when my medications were adjusted.
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
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"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Scaredy Cat
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Total Posts : 12981
   Posted 8/27/2010 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Yaffa, there is actually a reason why A/P sufferers are more edgy in the morning. The stress hormone cortisol is actually at its peak then. It tapers off throughout the day having its lowest poink in the evening, then starts to build again during the night. Just knowing this after reading it in a book helped my "manic mornings"
Feel Well,
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Fugs
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Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/27/2010 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Before I started on medication (I tried to handle the anxiety and panic without medication for about a year), I found the evenings to be my calmest time of day knowing that I survived another day and was about to go to sleep. Sleep to me was the only time I would feel any peace.

In the morning I would wake up feeling relaxed and calm, but within 30 minutes or so as I started to shower and go through my morning routine all the anxiety would rush back in. I concluded it was because I was starting to overthink things and worry again. The afternoons were the worst because I knew I had so much time to get through before I could go back to sleep. So although my experience may be somewhat different Yaffa, I can appreciate the morning anxiety. Mine just didn't kick in as quickly.

I assumed that during sleep your mind was at rest and peace, and when you wake up you start worrying about everything again. But Scaredy Cat makes a good point. That's good to know!

CassandraLee
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 757
   Posted 8/28/2010 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Yaffa:  During my first bout with anxiety 20 years ago, I also experienced the extreme panic upon waking up.  In fact, the panic was so bad that it would instantly "drain" all the rest that I had and would make me feel like I never went to bed at all.  I was constantly exhausted on top of everything else.
 
You have received excellent advice here.  A proper dosage of meds, a good diet, exercise and perhaps talk therapy would also be a step in the right direction!
 
Cass

dogstar
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Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I also experience physical anxiety feelings the minute I wake up (tightness in my chest, waves of adrenaline, feelings of doom). It's very unpleasant. Usually, when I get up and start my day (taking a shower etc) these physical feelings ease up, but then the anxious thoughts often kick in.

I should also add that my bed is the place where I have had some terrible panic attacks (I have had "nocturnal panic attacks" where you wake up from sleep and immediately have a panic attack) so I have come to associate my bed with anxiety. I often have feelings of physical anxiety when I get into bed at night too.

What Scaredy Cat shared about cortisol levels being highest upon waking is very interesting. Thanks for that. And good luck to all!

MKirk
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/31/2010 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
I also feel the same way when I first wake up, usually it's when something big is happening that day or in the near future, but sometimes not. The cortisol levels is interesting, but it still would be nice if it didn't happen. Sometimes the anxiety doesn't go away even after a couple hours and I need to take a xanax, but I only do that if I'm not going anywhere.

You're definitely not alone.

-M

Twiggygal
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 911
   Posted 8/31/2010 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I woke up this morning terribly panicky... seems to happen every morning if I'm going through a lot of stress... which I am
"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

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debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 9/2/2010 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
The cortisol thing is dead on. I'm not sure why more doctors don't talk to their patients about this as it is a well-known thing. The cortisol is supposed to help you wake out of a deep sleep, and it does that pretty well most of the time, but if you have anxiety it's going to agitate it.

I used to have this problem every single day no matter what. It has gotten better over time, though. I still have a few rough mornings here and there but most of the time I wake up okay. It seems like in the past the cortisol (I assume -- but it definitely felt "chemical" if that makes sense) would jumpstart not only my body but my anxiety. Even though the effects of the hormone wear off fairly quickly, once anxiety gets going it can be hard to stop...as I'm sure you know. As time went on and I got better and keeping anxiety at bay, I had more and more good mornings.

One thing you might do is try to get enough sleep and at consistent times if you do not already.

Skysmommy
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 9/2/2010 11:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel straing now I don't really have hight anxiety in the mornings :( mine hits me around 11pm at night and can last anywhere from an hour till around 3am (ooff and on). I am thinking about asking my counsurler(sp?) Sorry my spelling if off tonight. about some good cognu, behave books for me to get so I can work with them and the moodgym web site.

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 12981
   Posted 9/3/2010 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah! Glad to hear that your working on things with your counselor and CBT. It can be the best tool when your mind is reeling with anxiety in the wee hours of the morning-been there! Good luck to all, keep up the good work, and here's to peaceful mornings and evenings!!!
Scaredy Cat
"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

chirpchirp
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/3/2010 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I stopped drinking my morning cup of coffee because of morning anxiety. I cut out caffeine all together and that helped. When I would drink beer the night before, I would alwaaaays get morning anxiety - even if it was only two or three beers. Not drinking alcohol really helps with a goods night rest, I've found.

Dogstar, I used to have episodes of horrifying panic attacks when I would go to lay down. Right when I would fall asleep, I'd wake up and gasp for air. So I stopped sleeping in my bed for a while. I associate a lot of anxiety with my bed (at night). My husband has to beg me to come lay down in the bed.

I also have a friend that has extreme anxiety in the mornings. He is on Zoloft and still suffers from morning anxiety. I hear a lot of people have this problem. Sorry you are going through this! Hope you get better soon!
=======================================
Agoraphobia, OCD, Panic Disorder, GAD, Hypoglycemia,
Migraines, Kitty Lover, Bird Lover!
 

starsallseemtoweep
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Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/5/2010 2:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I also have extreme anxiety upon waking not just in the mornings. I recently found out I'm pregnant and am trying to taper off my medication and it has been rough and it's only been 3 days. Today was the worst. I woke up with terrible anxiety and had to take the medication a couple hours later it slacked off and I had a pretty good day until I took a nap at 6 pm. I woke up at 8 pm and had terrible anxiety causing dizziness, nausea, panic, shaking, all that fun stuff. I went back to sleep after taking more medication at about 12:30 am but woke at 1:20am with terrible anxiety again. It makes me scared to go to sleep but lack of sleep also makes it worse so I'm stuck. It's a holiday weekend so I can't see my doctor for several more days and I feel terrified of feeling like this. Even when I take the medication it seems like it's too late and takes a long time if it helps at all. I am not sure what to do and would love to hear from anyone on things that have worked for them besides medication. I will be talking to my doctor about this asap as well. Thanks for listening!

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32585
   Posted 9/5/2010 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and welcome to the A & P  Forum.  I noticed you posted in Depression too so I am wondering what your medication is as well as what your instructions are re decreasing the medication ?
 
Although pregnancy doesn't make anxiety/depression worse, pregnancy often triggers a range of emotions that can make it more difficult to cope with anxiety/depression.
Only 2 more days until you can call your Dr. so know we are here to support you and feel free to post your vents here.
 
Gentle Hugs,
 
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 12981
   Posted 9/5/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stars and congratulations!  Yes I have had the anxiety after napping too, as well as in the morning.  I know what you mean about not wanting to fall asleep, but fatigue makes the waking symptoms worse-there's no win!  (you are going to be especially in need of sleep now too)  Here's what worked for me.  It is a sneaky trick for the panic  to strike when you have just woken up and can't even think clearly enough to use your calming tecniques!  So my therapist encouaged me to practice, practice, practice my breathing exercises, so that they would be second nature to me and I could automatically start them the second I woke up.  I also chose a mantra.  This can be a simple phrase, prayer or whatever you choose to repeat to yourself slowly and calmly  (mine was "I'm okay, it's just fear")  These are two things you can do right in bed without getting up.  Although sometimes it is good to get up and have a little walk around to burn off the adrenaline!  Practice these tools during the day, even when you are feeling calm, so that they are really familiar and you can use them when needed.  One breathing exercise that I found to be the best for me was "the divided breath"  While inhaling, imagine filling the first top third of your lungs with air, in the same inhale-now fill the middle, and finally the bottom third.  Exhale in the reverse.  Blow out the bottom third, middle and then the top.  (be sure that you have just one inhale and exhale per round-just pausing in three parts.)  I hope that this will be helpful.  Good luck, and keep us posted :-)
Scaredy Cat

Pebblebeach
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/9/2010 4:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I am lucky because over the past 6 months I have to a large extent managed to get my anxiety under control. It certainly no longer hounds me during the daytime. But just like Yaffa I still wake very early every morning with my heart racing and a sense of fear and impending doom. I sometimes despair of whether I will ever shake this off and it does make me worry. So just hearing that it is a common problem shared by others is reassuring - and Scaredy Cat thanks for your advice - I also use breathing to calm myself down, or I get out of bed and sit and meditate - sometimes if my mind feels very busy and disturbed I will simply jump up and go for a run to burn off the adrenaline (this is not so easy to motivate myself to do though, particularly as waking up anxious in itself makes me feel really tired so I don't want to get out of bed!)

PnkgurL
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Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/14/2010 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
hi! i am new to this site & have many medical issues so i have been browsing around & it feels good to know i am not alone! i have aortic insufficiency which makes my anxiety worse because i am always worried about dying & i also have ibs-d which makes it hard to enjoy LIVING!
i suffer from anxiety alot. i have also wondered why it seems worse when i try to relax? never heard the cortisol thing before. i take toprol for my heart & xanax for my anxiety & heart palpitations but who can wake up & pop xanax every morning? i feel less pounding in my chest & anxiety if i just get up & do something. i can not ever sleep in in the mornings & i rarely nap! i am a big wine drinker one night out of the weekend which doesn't help ANY of my medical issues! it makes them worse! i am trying to change that habit starting this weekend so wish me luck!
i can tell this is a site that will be helpful to me! thanks for all your posts! it's been a comfort to just read through them tonight!
i am turning in because lack of sleep doesn't help anxiety either so i try to go to bed on a regular schedule!
hope everyone has a restful, anxiety free night! - if those even exist! :)

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32585
   Posted 9/15/2010 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Pinkgurl,
 
Welcome to HealingWell.  If you would like to take the time to introduce yourself in a new thread it will give the rest of the members a chance to meet and greet you.
 
You can just repost part of this post into your own thread. This is easily done. Simply click on the "New Topic" button and the program will open a box for you to post your intro. 
 
I am glad you found us and I know you will benefit from joining this great forum.  The members are wise and caring.
 
Kindly,
Kitt 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Fugs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 9/15/2010 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
PnkgurL said...

i suffer from anxiety alot. i have also wondered why it seems worse when i try to relax?


Hi and welcome.

I used to wonder about that too. I would have days where my anxiety and fear of the next panic attack dominated every waking second. Then later in the week I'd be up and moving around again enjoying a nice, calm, casual walk or something when - BAM! out of nowhere the panic would hit me.

One of my doctors explained it to me in a way I never thought of before, but that made a lot of sense. He said that when I'm fearful of an impending attack it's like I have my guard up and am constantly ready to fight. But when I relax and let go, then all of this pent up anxiety sees an opportunity to escape. We have anxiety for a reason and it has to come out one way or another. If I don't express my emotions verbally or in some other healthy way then I get hit physically (with anxiety symptoms or panic attacks).

withnail
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Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 1/9/2011 4:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I registered just to reply to you. I have been pretty much unable to leave the house now for 2 weeks. My girlfriend is at her wits end. Googling how I feel came up with your thread. For some reason lately I can only manage to sleep for exactly 30 mins at a time and my first awaking thoughts are Dread and doom. I hope its gets better and we can get through this

withnail
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 1/9/2011 4:13 AM (GMT -6)   
stkitt said...
Yaffa,


I had this probelm for a long time when I was going through a rough period. I would wake up and my mind would launch into anxiety mode before I even got out of bed. I would sometimes cry while still in bed from the feeling.



It went away finally when my medications were adjusted.



Yep what he said ^^^^^^ Its super disheartening

withnail
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 1/9/2011 4:20 AM (GMT -6)   
chirpchirp said...
I stopped drinking my morning cup of coffee because of morning anxiety. I cut out caffeine all together and that helped. When I would drink beer the night before, I would alwaaaays get morning anxiety - even if it was only two or three beers. Not drinking alcohol really helps with a goods night rest, I've found.

Dogstar, I used to have episodes of horrifying panic attacks when I would go to lay down. Right when I would fall asleep, I'd wake up and gasp for air. So I stopped sleeping in my bed for a while. I associate a lot of anxiety with my bed (at night). My husband has to beg me to come lay down in the bed.

I also have a friend that has extreme anxiety in the mornings. He is on Zoloft and still suffers from morning anxiety. I hear a lot of people have this problem. Sorry you are going through this! Hope you get better soon!



OMG this is totally me. I have developed a fear of lying down now and trying to sleep. PRobably related to the cortisol thing.

charlisa
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 1/9/2011 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   
The Cortisol explanation makes sense. Also, using a mantra. For me, I think I read somewhere that upon waking, your blood sugar is low and that can add to some anxiety. So, on mornings when I feel that "jittery" feeling, I keep telling myself "it's just your body's FEELING, it's not your mind", which helps keep that "anxiety circle" from starting. Then I strenuously focus on saying exactly what I'm doing every moment ( I'm just sitting on the toilet; I'm just waking down these stairs; I'm simply letting the cat out; etc) [that may be part of CBT, I don't know]. And finally, I remember to drink a glass of juice (no added sugar) before eating anything else to help immediately bring up my blood sugar. Well, I also usually take it with an L-Theanine capsule. On about 6 recent occasions I've  needed to get past those morning "uh oh" feelings, this routine has always helped me.
 
Best of luck, and keep coming back here. These folks have great advice/support! :)
 
 

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 12981
   Posted 1/9/2011 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again Charlisa, and yes, the positive mantras and rationalizing self-talk are a part of the CBT process, so good job on utilizing those techniques! What we tell ourselves really has an enoumous impact...good or bad!

I think that I must have gotten the L-theanine tip from you! I went to the health food store and have been taking it, and I really like it. As well as the calming qualities, it is full of greentea antioxidants, something I've been trying to increase anyway. Thanks!

Hope all is well with you:)

Take care,
S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

Dolfan27
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/9/2011 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had this its worse in the morning gets better as the day goes along.
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