Waking Anxious and Tired


I've tapered off a medication because of the side effects, but once again, I'm waking in the morning anxious and within a few hours I'm tired even though I had a full night of sleep.

This is nothing new as I was a straight-A college student before my sleep issues turned .me into mediocre student. I'm 57 today.

I've had classic PTSD symptoms in the past. Night terrors, sweats, etc. I also have sleep apnea, but the machine diagnostics show perfect breathing. In fact, the medication was giving me nocturnal central apnea; thus the motivation to quit it.

I do remember my dreams last night which was a mild frustration dream. No doubt it is related to buried childhood frustrations and/or an abusive ex.

Any leads or ideas for me? Everything I read is about anticipatory anxiety, but I live on a sailboat and it's Saturday, so that's hard to apply.


Living on a sailboat would cause me anxiety—lol. I’m guessing that is not your case. Maybe it takes time for your med to work itself out of your system? What kind was it?


When my anxiety is running hot that’s one of the two patterns I live:

Waking up molecules away from a panic attack and it takes all doggone day to slooooooooooowly be able to ratchet & fade it back (so exhausting, on every level; physical/ mental/ emotional), and push through to any kind of functionality for even just a few hours.


If I don’t wake up with lightning in my veins, snakes in my belly, muscles feeling like they’re ripping off the bones, my heart in a razor clawed vice; unable to think/feel/concentrate except in gasps and blinks? Better get the JUMP on things I want done, now… because my anxiety is going to be rising all doggone day, until I’m immobilised by it.


The most useful thing I’ve found helps manage both versions… and that’s a whole lotta exercise. Both regular/routine I can count on & PRN extra special stuff to deal with things as they come up. Burning off the chemical maelstrom in my blood, by giving it a target.

The major problem with exercise to burn off the everything (adrenaline et al) is the whole sick/injured thing. Fine motor activities DO help, but maybe only 10% of what gross motor helps?

Which leaves me with sensory tricks (like alternating hot/cold showers, scents, weights, textures, etc.) & other “grounding” things I’m still able to do whilst sick/injured, chemical distance (better living through chemistry!), distraction, & routines.

Two wacky things?
- I sleep better in the daytime. I’m far less likely to have nightmares, wake & stay far more refreshed, and the timing is very consistent. No matter when I fall asleep in the daytime, I sleep for 5 hours.
- 4am is my witching hour. I’m nearly always awake at 4am. WIDE awake. Full tilt boogie. If I actually manage to sleep through 4am? I’ll usually wake in either a panic attack or molecules away from one with my anxiety running so hot I should be a block of ice (paradoxical? Sure. So is anxiety for no damn reason 😉). <<< It’s the opposite of most humans. 4am is the time when most people are in their deepest sleep &/or fighting to stay awake, even if they’ve worked nights for years. It’s, hands down, the best time to launch an assault or make a break for it, and have the response time be sloppy & disorganized. The second best time? An hour before dawn. Whenever dawn is. 2am or 9am. There’s some sort of biochemical/genetic thing that encodes 4am as deep sleep, and some sort of environmental awareness that mimics that reaction, although it’s not as strong (probably because it’s changing all the time, in reaction to lengthening/shortening days?). >>> That opposite 4am &/or hour before dawn thing? (I don’t react either way to an hour before dawn. Some people react as badly as I do to 4am, some people are hit twice, with each GO!GO!GO!) Happens to 2 general groups of people; certain disorders, & long term trauma survivors.

When I can arrange my life to always be awake at 4am on PURPOSE? My double anxiety patterns show up far less often, for shorter durations. They still show up, but more as the obnoxious “this, again???” rather than Situation Normal All f*cked Up.

^^^ S’part of why you’ll peridically read on my profile ^^^

PTSD. I go to bed wide awake, and wake up tired. >.<


So exercise & grounding & routines help me manage that (and other symptoms) once theyre already onboard… adjusting my schedule to suit my best sleep helps prevent those 2 patterns coming round at all, much less sitting their asses down for nice long stay.
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Living on a sailboat would cause me anxiety—lol. I’m guessing that is not your case. Maybe it takes time for your med to work itself out of your system? What kind was it?
Quetiapine (Seroquel). When I first started it, I was having intractable migraines and it solved that problem as well as getting my anxiety under control, but that was 16 years ago and it's been extremely difficult to get off of.


As I began watching my smartwatch data I learned I have three sleep patterns and how I am the next day follows my sleep pattern.

1. Primarily light sleep with a little deep sleep. Next day: Tired, foggy, stressed, reactive, anxious.
2. Dead to the world. Big chunks of deep sleep. More deep than light sleep. Usually on nights when I get less than 5 hours sleep. Next Day: Just off, like I still need sleep.
3. Roughly equal deep and shallow sleep. Next day: Function reasonably well. Feel rested.
4. I see 4am. @Friday said enough here. Next day: (same day?) It's ugly.

It means....when I sync my watch and see what my sleep was like I know what to do the next day. #1 - grab a blanket and the cat and figure out whats bugging me. #2 - often after something in reprocessing resolves itself or I have had little to no sleep for a bit. #3 - When things are at their best. No big stress or anxiety and a good day to do some stuff. #4 -Didn't really sleep and lack of sleep is no good. Everything will be bad, for a couple days at least.

As for the migraines, that's what I thought I was having. Turned out it's recalled pain from the time around my trauma. Longest I remember having them for was 14 days in a row. Since I have been doing therapy, found the trauma, and begun working on it they have pretty much disappeared.

You can kick your meds when you are ready. I've kicked serious addiction several times now and quit smoking too. It's mind over matter. Plan to quit at the end of your prescription. Write a list of your reasons to quit. (positive is better) Read it when you would normally take it. Read it when you wake up. Prepare for the storm and then ride it out. You are strong enough to do it.