Waking up in a panic attack - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support

50,930 members51,740 posts

Waking up in a panic attack


Hi everyone. I have had a problem with anxiety for a number of years but kept it at bay. Never gone always in the background but not limiting me from enjoying most of my life.

I just took a new job and now I’m struggling. I am doing pretty good during the day with some self talk and not letting all the feelings get to me but the last few nights I have been waking up from a dead sleep in full blown panic attack mode. After 30 minutes or so I will be calmed down enough to go back to sleep but when I do I immediately wake back up gasping for air. I do have sleep apnea but have been successfully treating it for 15+ years and even when it wasn’t under control I never woke up gasping for air so I think this has something to do with anxiety and being tense even while I am asleep. I am very tired, but scared to fall asleep because one of these times I fear I won’t wake up. Any thoughts? How do I control my anxiety when I am sleeping? Note: I do not have panic attacks during the day. If one comes on I can quickly get rid of it.

7 Replies

Friend, I think starting the new job has caused that ugly anxiety demon to raise its head! First, you will NOT die from a panic attack. That's one thing to tell yourself as you go through it. I know this is very disconcerting to you but you may go back to your "baseline" after you get settled in your new job. If this continues see your PCP or psych med provider to talk about maybe getting something to take at night for anxiety.


I used to suffer from horrible panic attacks and was on Klonopin for way too long. I was taken off the Klonopin and didn't know how I would cope. I cut out all caffeine, cleaned up my diet, started taking good vitamins and I walk/jog and do yoga and meditation daily. I set regular bedtimes and wake up at about the same time daily. I set boundaries with toxic people and don't watch anything violent on TV. I limit time on my phone as well. The anxiety is now almost completely gone. I hope this helps. Much love to you.

Hollick in reply to Hidden

Setting boundaries with toxic ppl, makes so much sense..could you elaborate on that, thanks for sharing..

Hidden in reply to Hollick

I used to sit and listen to people insult me, ignorant family members. I used to allow myself to be involved with people who were critical, controlling or needy. Now I am very selective about who I allow into my life. I don't rescue broken people, or go near critical people who make me feel bad. I can't. My mental health is more important than trying to please others. I love people from a distance and I don't feel badly about it. My ownly responsibility is to take care of myself. If someone isn't kind, or caring or healthy, I stay away from them. Especially family members. Even some friends I have had to stop talking to. I'm able to clearly feel what energy a person brings to my life. If I feel bad around them I stay away.

I go through it all day lately just exhaustion and low iron and psyche meds it started with them lol. You’re body mind is saying it’s stressed but it will settle after awhile it always does. I agree once you settle in & eat well exercise as someone else said. I’m a fan of vit B6/12 twice a day & flaxseed or evening primrose oil. I don’t know your age but if your approaching menopause this happens too especially if under stress for some people. Even if you’re not it helps. I have to tell myself a lot of things and they involve love safety and I’m okay. Maybe after work reward yourself daily for awhile like hitting Starbucks to chill or gym after a rest.

I have sleep apnea as well so I also use a machine. Have you had your machine for long? Perhaps it's time to have it checked for a blockage or a leak. I really hope you find the answer so you can start getting the proper sleep that you desperately need.



So I slept about 6 hours (definitely need more). When I woke up my heart rate was definitely elevated but I was not in full blown panic attack mode. The big thing that I didn’t mention before that has been happening since I started this job is I feel like I cannot fully exhale. I feel like my lungs are full and I cannot get the air out. This only happens upon waking up (whether it is at 2 in the morning during a panic attack or when my alarm goes off) and lasts a couple of hours it does not happen during the day or even when I’m stressed out. Makes me think I have something serious going on (asthma, heart condition, etc.) but why would this just start when I started feeling really anxious regarding the new job? That makes me think it is the anxiety causing this but my breathing issue is for real. Please help.

You may also like...