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Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike

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Lionheart
6 hours ago, Andie said:

I’m really struggling with this. I’m having awful dreams and then waking in a panic, shaking, trembling and feeling confused. 

 

Heart thumping and thoughts racing. I then feel limp like a noodle and exhausted. I am then feeling better by about 11am and back to normal by the evening. 

 

 

Hi Andie,

I really feel for you, it's a horrible thing to have to live with.

I wish I could offer you a solution but I have yet to find one.

 

Just know that you're not alone.

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freeruby

Yes Andie - I agree.  You are not alone in this.  I had the same thing happen to me for quite a while.  Possibly making sure your room is dark (or you use an eye mask) - might help.

Best wishes to you,

FreeRuby

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Hibari

I wake up with adrenaline surges now almost every morning.  

 

I did a 4 pt saliva test and discovered that my morning cortisol was very low, not high.  My nautropath explained that when that happens, the adrenals start pumping hard to try and get the cortisol going.  My adrenals are low at this point due to wd and trauma. 

 

Low and high cortisol can feel the same.  Mine is high at night and low in the morning.  I'm trying to figure out how to naturally help my adrenals without further medication, which I tried briefly but did not feel good. 

 

Being in Clonzapam doesn't help.  

 

 

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lalala
1 hour ago, Hibari said:

I wake up with adrenaline surges now almost every morning.  

 

I did a 4 pt saliva test and discovered that my morning cortisol was very low, not high.  My nautropath explained that when that happens, the adrenals start pumping hard to try and get the cortisol going.  My adrenals are low at this point due to wd and trauma. 

 

Low and high cortisol can feel the same.  Mine is high at night and low in the morning.  I'm trying to figure out how to naturally help my adrenals without further medication, which I tried briefly but did not feel good. 

 

Being in Clonzapam doesn't help.  

 

 

Hi H, I'm sorry you are going through this, Because of the  cortisol rushes I was having  in the morning I started taking klonopin  at night as needed and it was happening quite often every morning... I mistaked then to be panic attacks ... and ended up taking it for a month and then more time unfortunately... it really did suck but , if I would of known covering my eyes would have helped  i've be in a different position

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Hibari
5 minutes ago, lalala said:

Hi H, I'm sorry you are going through this, Because of the  cortisol rushes I was having  in the morning I started taking klonopin  at night as needed and it was happening quite often every morning... I mistaked then to be panic attacks ... and ended up taking it for a month and then more time unfortunately... it really did suck but , if I would of known covering my eyes would have helped  i've be in a different position

Thanks lalala.  I wish there was a way to lessen them.  It makes it hard for me to go out when my anxiety is so high from either withdrawal or cortisol.  

 

I feel sad about it all today. 

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lalala
1 minute ago, Hibari said:

Thanks lalala.  I wish there was a way to lessen them.  It makes it hard for me to go out when my anxiety is so high from either withdrawal or cortisol.  

 

I feel sad about it all today. 

I remember it was exhaustion and traumatizing, but going thorough another wd is now worst to deal with for me ugh... I'm sad too

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Hibari
15 minutes ago, lalala said:

I remember it was exhaustion and traumatizing, but going thorough another wd is now worst to deal with for me ugh... I'm sad too

It makes it hard to believe that all will be well but I have no other choice than to go forward.  You have my deepest empathy for what you are fools though.  

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lalala
19 hours ago, Hibari said:

It makes it hard to believe that all will be well but I have no other choice than to go forward.  You have my deepest empathy for what you are fools though.  

It's really  hard for me right  now,  thank you  I'm not in the best  spirits  but I hope  very  much we will be able  to handle  this and be free... 

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Rhiannon

I have nothing particularly helpful to contribute except to say I HATE CORTISOL MORNINGS

It's hard to remember that there have been times I haven't had this intense cortisol surge in the morning.

 

The most frustrating thing is that when it settles down in the afternoon I could nap, but that's when I have to go to work. So I am sleepy and dopey at work, and wired in the morning when I need to be sleeping in.

 

In a few more years I can retire from this job and honestly the thing I am looking forward to the most is being able to take naps in the afternoon!

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Giulietta

How early in the morning do these nasty cortisol spikes happen to you?

 

I think I am aroud at 5 a.m.

 

I wear a black out sleep mask and still have them. 😎

On 6/6/2019 at 12:10 PM, Hibari said:

It makes it hard to believe that all will be well but I have no other choice than to go forward. 

 

Positive thinking! In the mean time - has anyone given @Daisy 's suggestions a try:

 

On 8/19/2018 at 6:45 PM, Daisy said:

What helped me was writing the jumble of thoughts on paper until they settled down. Then I would write down my plans for the day and check them off as I got them done. Sometimes they were just simple things like take a shower,

 

 

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alexrosear

I used to wake with anxiety, but now  I wake with overwhelming doom/depression feelings - so intense that I can't seem to do anything other than pull the covers over and go back to sleep to stop the feelings and also because when I feel like that the absolute last thing in the world that I want is to be awake.

 

Any thoughts? :)

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Denas1969

I have this too.  I have had the fear of sleep and the fear of waking up and it did subside for a while but now its back.  Its not as bad as it was durong my first round but still sucks!!  I really thought I was losing my mind (and at times I am so on edge I still do)   I take my symptoms and separate them somehow, like I will repeat "i wish this hip and leg pain wpuld go away" and hyper focus on it.  When it gets better there is usually another symptom waiting to rear its ugly head.  Now its "I wish this on edge near panic feeling will go away" but now the fear of what might take its place is a thing.  I just cannot win!  I wanna try scullcap but so afraid. 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed obscenity

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Armorall

Alto- how do you get the niacinamide in such small amounts if you take it in 200 or 100 mg doses. When I look online they all seem to be sold in 500mg pills? Do you still advise taking these? 

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Denas1969

You can purchase in powder form or break open the capsules... Stir in a little liquid and drink it down.  

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Armorall

Ok thanks for that info!

Altostrata -Would you still reccommend using niacinamide? I see that SA usually just backs fish oil and magnesium, so I wonder if after time, you saw that people shouldn't use niacinamide?  @Altostrata

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qupuf
On 4/13/2018 at 11:06 PM, Altostrata said:

Please read this topic from the beginning.

 

Hello everyone. I noticed that nobody mentioned vivid dreams. I have been off Lexapro for about a year now and I still wake up multiple times during sleep. I have been living like this for 2-3 years. This started when I was on lexapro as I was "leaning" off it.

 

I still see vivid dreams/nightmares. The only thing that lets me go back to sleep peacefully is Seroquel. It's an anti-psychotic for schizophrenics/bipolars and I'm neither of those. I am just desperate to get a full uninterrupted sleep. 

It feels like I this will never go away. I have read through all of the 17 pages in this thread and it's really hard to pinpoint any successful story. There's a lot of trial & error going on and I can't tell what can help us remain asleep or speed up the withdrawal process. So, can someone please let me know what can I do to reduce these withdrawal symptoms such as vivid dreams and multiple awakenings during sleep? Can I go back to lexapro and taper off it even more slowly? 

So far, I've gathered that magnesium helps matters a bit. Thank you!

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Altostrata

Armorall -- I didn't find any consistent effect from niacinamide. You might try a fraction of a tablet to see what it does for you.

 

qupuf, withdrawal syndrome often makes the nervous system hypersensitive to all kinds of things, even supplements. It may tolerate only very gentle interventions. We can't expect dramatic changes from anything discussed in this topic; we're looking for only a slight improvement or diminution in symptom intensity. Reducing light stimulation in the morning is probably the most consistently effective method, but you may still wake up very early in the morning.

 

Using quetiapine to sleep has its own drawbacks. As you may have noticed throughout this topic, we don't discuss taking drugs for the cortisol spike symptom at all. Quetiapine has so many adverse effects, we'd never recommend it for anything. It can upset insulin metabolism and ultimately needs to be tapered to avoid withdrawal.  If you'd like to discuss your use of it further, please post in your Introductions topic.

 

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clarknova

Morning doom is big for me as well right now. Today it went like this:

 

It's Saturday.

Woke up around 6 am. Didn't feel anxious, just depressed. "Why get up?"

Decided I would just lay there. Try to meditate, maybe even enjoy a lazy Saturday for once. 

Started ruminating. "Why me?", "What's the point?", "What if this, what if that?"

Anxiety started ramping up. "Okay, stay with it. Accept it. Flow with the... No, can't do it!"

Got up in a hurry. Turned lights on. Paced around. 

Sat down in the kitchen. Made a cup of tea. Opened laptop. Read SA forums for an hour. 

Started calming down a little bit. Less anxiety. Less depression. 

Made some eggs. Ate them. 

 

 

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clarknova
On 8/20/2018 at 12:45 AM, Daisy said:

What helped me was writing the jumble of thoughts on paper until they settled down. Then I would write down my plans for the day and check them off as I got them done. Sometimes they were just simple things like take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, feed the dog, walk the dog, feed the cat etc. Then I would list the errands I wanted to run for the day. Sometimes I had to cross things off that I had put down because they did not make sense or were inappropriate. Doing this helped to get my morning brain organized in a more linear fashion instead of going over the same thing or things over and over again. It even helped distract me from the morning anxiety.

If you do this and it works for you, you have gained a tool that helps. If it does not, then you haven't lost anything by giving it a try.

Daisy

 

I remember this really working for me as well last time I was in a wave. I would always have this huge open notebook on my kitchen table, and I would write lists for myself every evening and then do it the next morning - "Get up", "Make bed", "Put on clothes" etc. I would be Night Guy telling Morning Guy what to do and in which order. I would also make check boxes next to every item so it felt good to cross them off. 

 

Thank you, Daisy, for reminding me of this. I'm just two weeks into a pretty rough wave now, so I need to get the huge notebook back out. 

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Avrgejane

Hi there,

 

Any tips on decreasing morning cortisol? I find that mornings until about 2pm are very sensitive and tough for me. As the evening hits it’s much better. 

 

Any helpful tips? 

 

AJ

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succubus76

Melatonin

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Altostrata

@Avrgejane see the discussion above in this topic.

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qupuf

I can't go back to sleep after I wake up with high cortisol and I haven't seen a single success story for lexapro withdrawal. I can't live like this!!!

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bottlehalffull

I read something recently that exercise in the morning helps with sleep more than exercise other times of day. So the night before last when I woke up at 4:30 and was still awake when the sun rose, I went for a long walk and just stayed up the rest of the day. I actually felt like my energy level was decent for at least the first half of the day. And last night/this morning I only had my normal wake up and pee once, not my high stress lying in bed waking up from everything not able to fall back asleep. I'm going to try to get my exercise in in the morning more often and see what happens.

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Andie

Anyone else notice that the anxiety on waking is worse with disrupted sleep? 

 

If I wake at 4.30-5.30am and go back to sleep, I will have vivid dreams and then panic, shaking and tears on waking. I may also have sleep paralysis and be foggy for a few hours. There dreams are extremely vivid and I can remember them in detail. They are usually emotionally distressing. 

 

If if I sleep right through, I still have the vivid dreaming, don't feel anxious on waking and can only remember vauge details.

 

 

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Denas1969

I get you. Most of my troubles are around sleep. And my worst days are after a night of broken sleep yes.  

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Andie
12 minutes ago, Denas1969 said:

I get you. Most of my troubles are around sleep. And my worst days are after a night of broken sleep yes.  

Me too. My most troublesome symptoms are around sleep.  I just noticed the pattern in a very obvious way, as I've had over a week of good sleep since Prozac bridge, and then sudden return of panic waking after a few nights of broken sleep. 

 

I havent had solid sleep sleep for years so I'm not sure what normal feels like. 

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Denas1969

My sleep got better when i started 5mg prozac and 2.5 olanzapine but now I am down to .66 olanzapine and have good nights and bad ones.  Good mornings and bad ones.  Its like a rollercoaster.  It is so strange to feel stable sometimes and like I am losing it other times.  Ugh!  I just hope I can get off the olanzapine and stabalize on the prozac at a low dose.  And sleeeeeep!  

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Giulietta
On 2/1/2020 at 1:17 AM, Andie said:

Anyone else notice that the anxiety on waking is worse with disrupted sleep? 

 

Hello Andie,

 

My sleep is affected by the anxiety and positivity the previous day and particularly after 6 pm at night.

 

On mornings when I have cortisol spikeks (awaken at 3 or 4 a.m. agitated, etc.) I may (not) fall back into a good sleep. Anxiety may be worse generally on these days.

 

If I wake up at 1 or 2 quickly and are back to sleep quickly - I am more inclined to sleep soundlythe rest of the night. I generally don't have anxiety on waking and anxiety is better during the day.

 

Both are not affected by dose (which is low).

 

Giuilietta

 

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Estman
On 3/30/2011 at 1:40 AM, Neuroplastic said:

Oh, yes, Summer! It's precisely this!

 

Also, what helps, Summer, is accepting the fear, by which I mean not accusing yourself of the unability to make it go away. Stan is very right - it's very very much WD-induced. Your writing about "deleting what you've written" and "no sense there" speaks volumes - this irrational fear is, well, so... *irrational*, it escapes words. Been through the *exact* same. I really feel what you're saying here.

 

Hi,

An unfounded fear is then a symptom of withdrawal?
I did not have this before taking antidepressants
Will it decrease over time?

 

 

 

On 3/30/2011 at 1:40 AM, Neuroplastic said:

 

 

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Artistic1

Just finished reading several pages of this thread. Can't tell you how much it meant to find others with the same problem I have! Fractured sleep and waking with anxiety or lack of motivation or both. This is a symptom I've had since getting hit suddenly with GAD 5 years ago. At first, it was so terrible....it's one of the things that drove me to antidepressants. Since then, with CBT, the strength has lessened considerably, but it's disturbing that it's still there even in a mild form, because in the back of my mind is the fear that it will come back full force. That fear of fear is the one thing I have to work the hardest on.

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Estman

Yes, fear of fear is also my symptom
There is also a fear that suddenly the wave will not pass this time
there is often fear before going to bed and also in the morning
I understand that this is also a symptom that should go away
 

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Estman

I have a physically strange symptom for 17 days now
There were very lively and intense dreams at night
When I woke up in the morning, I was very restless when I was in bed
It started with an inner (spiritual) bad mood and turned into a physical feeling of tension
My whole body, especially my back, is under a lot of pressure while I sit still.
This physical tension is sometimes so intense that it creates fear.
Physical symptoms have usually occurred earlier, in the first or second week.
The third week is currently underway.
I am currently maintaining my dose at 34mg
Probably just a body adjustment?

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Estman
On 2/1/2020 at 10:29 AM, Denas1969 said:

My sleep got better when i started 5mg prozac and 2.5 olanzapine but now I am down to .66 olanzapine and have good nights and bad ones.  Good mornings and bad ones.  Its like a rollercoaster.  It is so strange to feel stable sometimes and like I am losing it other times.  Ugh!  I just hope I can get off the olanzapine and stabalize on the prozac at a low dose.  And sleeeeeep!  

Olanzapine caused me akathisia
I also took it for 3 months in the summer of 2019

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