It is not medically advisable to remove earwax with a cotton bud? This can push the wax further into your canal causing blockage of the ear. A safer method is by applying warmed olive-oil with a cotton wool three times a day inside the affected ear.
You need to see an E.N.T Doctor if you wake up gasping in the night regularly? This could be as a result of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) which is a term for breathing that becomes interrupted or irregular during the night.