Panic attack when waking up every morning


New Here
Every morning when I wake up I have panic, if I have a dream that’s disturbing I don’t remember or recall it. Then I wake up with my heart racing, panicking and I can’t calm down no matter how much yoga, meditation I do. I started buspar as a medication but it hasn’t kicked in yet. I just can’t get my activation to go away.

What can I do?


hello ruffruff. welcome to the forum.

sounds like what i call, "hyper-alert wakenings." i'm sure there is a more clinical term for the phenom, but, by whatever name, it's a gnarly way to start a day. i am unspeakably grateful to announce that it has been a while since i've had to deal with this on a routine basis. anxiety remains a part of my morning ritual, but a ritual of plying anxiety management tools helps me keep my anxiety levels manageable.

for me, a vigorous workout helps me purge those anxiety hormones far more effectively than the more passive tools, such as yoga and meditation. the more passive tools work better for maintenance than for crisis intervention. those hyper-alert awakenings qualify as a mini-crisis inside my own skin.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard. you are not alone.


I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’ve always called it “morning doom”. I remember very few dreams/nightmares so it was hard for me to tie the panic to anything…now I realize it must be something getting triggered in my trauma history…or possible nightmares that I just can’t remember. I’ve been struggling with it for many years and it tends to ebb and flow in its aggressiveness and frequency. It’s hard to shake and I often feel like I’m carrying it around all day. The thing that helps me the most, like arfie, is getting my body moving vigorously. Humming loudly (or letting out some loud grunts) also helps. These days I try to honor the feeling, do a couple coping skills, and the get up and moving in my routine (and it can be really really hard). I’m sorry you are dealing with this…I know how badly it sucks.


A daily morning routine and medication both help me. I also need a big enough block of time (3 hours including the drive) before work to really be okay for my day.