Big picture answer – keep doing the work. Waking up in a panic is a common expression of a system that is holding a lot of unresolved fight/flight energy, and it is by doing the steady work to clear that out and restore regulation that this will resolve.

Small picture answer – in the moment, there are a couple of things you can do in a broad sense; either work to calm the activation, or go with the activation. If you are working in the direction of calming, it means soothing the system, so use your resources, whatever they are – tea, hot water, a teddy bear, whatever. Oftentimes people will just try to go back to sleep, and the system will generally respond better if we actually get up for a bit and attend to it, as inconvenient as that may be.

Or, we can go with the activation. This means allowing that panicked energy and even encouraging it. Sit up and put your feet on the floor and let the legs run, let them express that fear you are feeling. Or flip the script into fight – imagine an image of the thing your system is fearing and use your Healthy Aggression tools to mobilize the body into expressing self-protection. This approach is more advanced and requires more capacity, but can sometimes lead to a deeper resolution than simply soothing the system. Your choice! 

Here are some resources that may be helpful with these approaches…

Video: Why you are waking up in a panic attack
Video: DIY Ancient Anxiety Medicine
Blog: Healthy Aggression: the way to un-frustrate frustration