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  1. See also: high-cortisol-and-ssris This seems to be a very common symptom of withdrawal syndrome. Many people report waking up with a surge of panic or anxiety, or a feeling of anxiety early in the morning. People generally feel this around 3:30-4:30 a.m. or closer to dawn. The first glimmers of morning light signal the nervous system to start the morning cycle with a normal rise in cortisol. This is a normal part of your circadian rhythm. Normally, cortisol gives you energy. When you have withdrawal syndrome, your system is on "high alert" all the time. For people whose nervous systems have been sensitized by going on and off psychiatric drugs, the normal morning peak of cortisol is felt as exaggerated. What you would normally feel as "wake up" becomes a surge of unease, panic, anxiety, or dread at the start of the day. Since the cortisol increase is signaled by early morning light, you can reduce the stimulation by reducing light in your bedroom with the use of blackout shades and curtains and a sleep mask to shield your eyes. Strengthening your sleep also helps. See What is the sleep cycle? Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful TV or computer use in evening can disrupt sleep: Bright light signals the brain that it's daytime
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