Morning anxiety/sleep anxiety - Anxiety and Depre...

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Morning anxiety/sleep anxiety

Plato38 profile image

I'm new here, but thought sharing and hearing I'm not alone would help. I've suffered with anxiety since I was 21, I'm 38 now. I was on zoloft for a long time and it did wonders till it recently stopped working, I switched to Lexapro and just increased it to 20 mg 3 weeks ago. I feel much better but I still get irrational anxiety. Mine seems to happen at night and first thing in the morning. I started meditating and see a functional medicine dr as well. I'm scared of not sleeping which makes things worse. I fear I'll never feel my normal self on a consistent basis. I even fear meditation might make me worse. Anyone else have morning panic? Or fear of not sleeping?

24 Replies

Hi Plato38, Welcome to this comforting site. The real you will shine through once you

allow it to. It happens that after a while medications no longer work and we are switched

to something us. I just happen to be on Lexapro as well. Just a few months ago the dose

was upped to 20mg. It did take a few weeks for the body to adjust to the increase but I'm

back to being "me" again. Everyone responds differently to meds as well as in their own


I believe that medication/therapy is only part of the answer to anxiety. Accepting it as non

threatening as well as finding methods to keep the Mind/Body Connection in a continuous

state of calm is important. I use Meditation/DeepBreathing and have literally mastered it.

I use it daily so that when hit by stress or anxiousness, it's there to reach for and works within moments. There are different forms of meditation. I go to YouTube and listen to the videos that are conducted by soothing calm voices. It's almost like a self hypnosis in

that when you hear that voice you immediately go into a meditative state.

I like the fact that you are seeing a functional medicine doctor as well. Give it time, don't

give up. You will find what works best for you. Also know that we are always just a message away to help support you. We understand and we care. Make it a great day :) xx

Plato38 profile image
Plato38 in reply to Agora1

Thank you so much for your response. It helps a lot to hear someone else who is on Lexapro as well. I look forward to mastering meditation as well. I was hoping lexapro would be a cure all, and I wouldn't still have anxiety but I know I have to work at it as well, it's just hard when I have moments where it's right on the edge, and so easily in the fight or flight stage.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Plato38

I wish I could stress enough in what meditation and deep breathing did for me. (I was

Agoraphobic for 5 years) I never left my home during that time. Anxiety was not going

to win. I learned everything I could about anxiety and it's effect on the mind/body.

I did my own studying and research from home. I knew I would beat this. I also knew

that I needed something besides depending on medication. Something that I could reach for within myself that would work in moments w/o side effects. And I found it,

in meditation. More than that is practicing deep breathing properly. That in itself got

me out of the house, driving again, into stores and feeling this incredible power. Anxiety will always try to trick us when we are down but once you have the key in knowing how to turn off the fight or flight response, you too will win. :) xx

Plato38 profile image
Plato38 in reply to Agora1

Sorry to bother you, but how long did the 20mg of lexapro take to work for you? I'm on week 3 and I was doing really well, but then I had a set back over the weekend and now I fear I'm back to not getting any better. Woke up at 4am with anxiety and have had it since. I thought the Lexapro would keep me from hitting these high anxiety moments.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Plato38

Hi Plato38, Since I've been on 15mg of Lexapro for 5 years, I hardly noticed the

change in upping it to 20mg. I'd say less than 2 weeks. I would always keep in touch

with your doctor whenever they do a change. We each respond differently.

Keep in mind that Lexapro does not work like a quick acting antianxiety med. There

are so many factors that need to be considered when on any drug.

What happened to cause the setback over the weekend? What time of day are you taking the Lexapro? Are you on any other medications? Most importantly, are you

using any other methods to reduce your anxiety. Medication alone is not the answer.

Most importantly have you accepted your diagnosis of anxiety? Reading or listening to

Dr. Claire Weekes on YouTube can help you understand the connection of the mind/body experience with anxiety. It is a thought, a negative thought which when we

response to it, sends waves of panic throughout our body.

There is a physical reason for morning anxiety. It is then when Cortisol spikes getting us ready for the next day. Adrenaline peaks more so when anxious and the anticipation of what the day holds takes over making us dread the morning hours.

There are solutions which have to do in how we react to the thought. These take time,

practice and patience. Using therapy while on medication can help with any setbacks

that may arise. See what your doctor has to say. We are not doctors but we can support you

in following his instruction in going forward. My best xx

Hello Plato38 you and I have something in common my worst anxiety is in the morning. When its really bad it makes me fear going to sleep knowing when I wake up it will be bad. I’m a 65 year old man and I’ve had this problem since I was 35,

bonkers65 profile image
bonkers65 in reply to Irishmen

I'm exactly the same way. Look forward to going to sleep since it's the only relief I get but also dread it because of how I will feel when I wake up and reality sets in.

Junella profile image
Junella in reply to bonkers65

I've been there starting a couple of years ago after a medical problem (phobic about illness anyway). I would go to bed late and dread mornings when I would feel like I couldn't get up and would lay there and worry--ruminating over possible illness and the future.

In the last year I am much better, still have trouble getting out of bed, but now I think on positive things or questions about everything from relationships to the puzzle of quantum mechanics.

Then I open a devotional book given to me by a dear friend. It's called "Jesus Calling" and the author has written daily messages that speak to what I have been thinking or feeling. She must have had anxieties too. Then there will be a Bible quote to think about and followed by a prayer for the day. I try to practice deep breathing regularly but not so disciplined on it.

Plato38 profile image
Plato38 in reply to Junella

I am FASCINATED by Quantum Mechanics and epigenetics. It is what keeps me hopeful.

bonkers65 profile image
bonkers65 in reply to Junella

I'm glad you are doing better. I am doing some better myself, but not quite where I want to be yet. Now in the mornings I just tell myself "You do this every morning and it always gets better", and it always does. And you're not going to believe this but I read that book "Jesus Calling" an few months ago and really liked it. Take care.

Hollick profile image
Hollick in reply to Irishmen

Same here, it's a horrible thing to endure.

Welcome, and thanks Agora1 for the wise words already. For what it's worth, I had insomnia and fear of not sleeping during a serious breakdown years ago. That fear fed into panic attacks in an unhealthy feedback loop.

In recovering, there were the basics of exercise and diet, so your body is prepared to rest. Beyond that I just had to endure some bad nights so I could learn they wouldn't destroy me. Very painful yes, but you can get through them and get better. Nowadays when I occasionally have a bad night, I can gently smile on myself and say "here we go again, I've been here, I can get through this."

LIke Agora1, meditation was huge in my recovery. Possibly the biggest single factor. And yet it *might* have made things worse for a few months at the start. I believe, from a spiritual point of view, that's because paying attention to your mind uncovers a lot of junk that needs to be dealt with. Ultimately it's a healthy process, but you may need a wise teacher/therapist/doctor for support at the start.

Be well, I think you will find the support you seek here.

Plato38 profile image
Plato38 in reply to onthetrail

I think that is where I am at with meditation. The letting go and being ok with not being in control of sensations and thoughts. It makes me question if I'm doing it wrong or if it's making things worse, but I know that just can't be the case. Everything I read says meditation is the key and even has the same effects on the brain as SSRI'S. I work out a ton and always have so I've got that part down. Thank you all for the encouraging words. And for making me not feel alone.

Hi plato38,

I have had anxiety most of my adult life. The past 3 years falling asleep has been a huge challenge and then staying asleep is another. I have been in therapy 15 months now. I am on hormone replacement therapy so the estrogen and progesterone help me a lot. I frequently wake up and get anxious for no reason. The doctor put me on xanax. Now i am falling asleep and staying asleep longer but i don't sleep through the night. My doctor gave me klonopin but I'm afraid to take it. Now when i wake up during the night i write in my journal and try to remain calm and not get upset. It takes practice. I hope you find peace in your time of need.


I have the same issue, where I wake up a lot. 6 years ago I hit a terrible point with insomnia and felt like I was going crazy. I had hypnotic jerking that would wake me up, sleep paralysis, nightmares, you name it. My insomnia is always worse around my period. I was on xanax as well but it wouldn't last the whole night so my sleep dr put me on Klonopin and it changed my life for 6 years. I was finally sleeping and soundly. Recently in November my anxiety and insomnia have come back a vengeance. The Klonopin helped again with sleeping, but I'm hoping to wean off it and only take as needed. I take a small dose but it helps. Thank you for responding.

I just recently went off Lexapro and my anxiety is the worst in the mornings . I just think and worry constantly about to do and what I want to do . I went off meds in hopes of getting pregnant one day . But it has been super hard so far and I'm trying not give up . I've had anxiety since I was 16 . Tried Prozac that made me tired and the clexa which I didn't like . Lexapro seemed to work the best for me . I would still have anxiety but it was more bareable

I'm sorry to hear you also have morning anxiety. Mine wakes me up or comes on for no reason. I actually have anxiety because I'm afraid of having anxiety, if that makes sense. I literally create it because I fear it. I've heard so many of my friends go off their SSRI when they were pregnant, but my friend from work is on a low dose of lexapro or zoloft and shes very pregnant. That would be so hard to do. You are very brave. Have you looked into functional medicine for your anxiety? It helped me for 4 months. I was anxiety free and then I had a set back, so we are figuring out what supplements would help.

This all is very relatable to me. Every time I lay down to sleep, anxiety creeps in, reminding me that sleep will not come easily. It’s like, I can’t sleep because I’m afraid I won’t be able to sleep. A vicious cycle if there ever was one. I don’t know which is worse - looking at the clock or not looking. If I look, I stress about how much time I have left to try to fall asleep. If I don’t, I stress about not knowing how much time I have left and fear my alarm will go off any second.

Mornings are even worse. If I do manage to sleep, like really sleep, not in and out drifting, as soon as I wake up, there is a general feeling of discomfort and anticipation. This feeling rapidly escalates to dread, dread about everything, about the upcoming day, just everything. Dread escalates to full-fledged panic. Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning uses up all my energy for the day. And then I have nothing left. I spend the day exhausted and dreading going to sleep and starting the process all over again.

It’s at least good to know I’m not alone. I don’t have helpful advice to offer, but if you’re like me, just the knowledge that you’re not alone helps, if only just a little bit.

Mellowme73 profile image
Mellowme73 in reply to RozieLi

You are SO not alone in this... I work hard for 8 hrs/ day and finally feel tired and "sleep" from 12am to 4 am.. ...then the dread feeling. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Been going on for 4 mos now and I don't want it to be the new normal with me either. Chris

Hi. When my anxiety started it was the same way. I didn't sleep for a full month. I was afraid up all night with nausea. Until I had a nervous breakdown and went into mental hospital. I didn't want to take medication because I was so afraid of the side effects. I was put on Klonopin, celexa, and trazadone. Celexa didn't workout for me so I was Lexapro . I've been on it for 7 weeks but I still don't feel normal and have anxiety mostly all day. I started exercising which helps a bit and also started natural supplements. If you don't mind me asking what were you taking that was working?

Plato38 profile image
Plato38 in reply to Maricc

Neurocalm, tran-q and supplements for my stomach for heartburn.

My doctor put me on Paxil CR and though I admit I had a rough month or so getting used to it, I am now feeling so much better emotionally. I was using Ativan if I felt a panic attack coming on but now the times I need an Ativan are few and far between. Morning anxiety was the worse and triggers that brought on full blown panic attacks were all around me, reminding me of when I had a heart attack. I don't know if it's the extended relief tab that works so much better than regular tabs but whatever it is I am grateful to be able to enjoy life again and return to doing the things that keep me fulfilled.

yes~have sleep phobia and insomnia~no one will help me tho~~

Hello, I'm new as well and I'm looking to better understand healthy way to manage my anxiety disorder. I currently take medication but I Still experience episode that usually turn into guilt.

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