Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Can You Have A Panic Attack While Sleeping

Don't Miss

Experience Calm Relaxed Nights

Can You Have a Panic Attack While Sleeping? [ 1 QUICK Way to Calm Down SUPER FAST!]

When you have panic attacks at night, it can feel like youre suffering alone. A weighted blanket gives you the same safe, warm feeling of a hug. It can help you recover from a panic attack when you have one, and it can help prevent one from happening by helping you sleep calm and relaxed.

If youre ready to try a weighted blanket, rest even easier with the Hush Blankets 100-night guarantee. Great sleep is close.

Signs And Symptoms Of Panic Disorder

While many people experience just one or two panic attacks without further episodes or complicationsand theres little reason to worry if thats yousome people go on to develop panic disorder. Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks, combined with major changes in behavior or persistent anxiety over having further attacks.

You may be suffering from panic disorder if you:

  • Experience frequent, unexpected panic attacks that arent tied to a specific situation
  • Worry a lot about having another panic attack
  • Are behaving differently because of the panic attacks, such as avoiding places where youve previously panicked

While a single panic attack may only last a few minutes, the effects of the experience can leave a lasting imprint. If you have panic disorder, the recurrent panic attacks take an emotional toll. The memory of the intense fear and terror that you felt during the attacks can negatively impact your self-confidence and cause serious disruption to your everyday life. Eventually, this leads to the following panic disorder symptoms:

Anticipatory anxiety Instead of feeling relaxed and like your normal self in between panic attacks, you feel anxious and tense. This anxiety stems from a fear of having future panic attacks. This fear of fear is present most of the time, and can be extremely disabling.

Think Of Positive Images

Try thinking of positive things during a panic attack. This could be a list of your favourite songs, foods or animals. For example, start at the beginning of the alphabet, naming a place beginning with each letter, and work your way along from A to Z.

If you can, another idea is to get a notebook and write down a ‘page full of positive things’. Put down all the things you love until the page is full up.

Don’t Miss: Depression Topography

When Should You Call A Doctor Or Help Line If You Are Having A Panic Attack

For someone who may be experiencing their first panic attack, a call to the doctor’s office or 911 is warranted. The idea is to make sure that the cause of the person’s distress is not a heart attack, asthma problem, endocrine emergency, or other dangerous medical condition.

A medical professional is the only person who should make the diagnosis of a panic attack. There is no such thing as a “wasted” visit to the doctor in this case. It is better to be told that the diagnosis is a panic attack than to assume that someone is panicking and be proved wrong.

Almost everyone experiencing symptoms of a panic attack needs evaluation. Unless the person has a history of having panic attacks, is otherwise healthy, and is experiencing a typical attack, they must be evaluated promptly by a doctor. The level of evaluation depends on many factors. Err on the side of safety when deciding whether to go to a hospital’s emergency department.

Even for medical professionals, the diagnosis of a panic attack is known as a diagnosis of exclusion. This simply means that before the doctor can be comfortable with the diagnosis of a panic attack, all other possible causes of the symptoms need to be considered and ruled out.


Avoid Lying In Bed Awake

What to Do if You Have a Panic Attack While Sleeping

If youre lying in bed for more than 20 minutes and still cant fall asleep, it might be time to give yourself a do-over. While it may feel counterintuitive, Lawson suggests leaving your bedroom to do a sleep-inducing activity, like having a cup of tea or reading a book. This conditioning, known as stimulus control, can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.

If youre going to try stimulus control, its important to remove yourself from your bedroom environment. This helps give you a mental reset when you try to fall asleep again.

Also Check: Is Phobia A Disease

Impact Of Panic Attack While Sleeping

Just like panic attacks when youre awake, those that happen when youre asleep are frightening events. Maybe more frightening than when youre awake. Here are some of the reasons for this.

  • They hit without warning. Being asleep and more relaxed makes this impact worse.
  • Your mind isnt awake to help you know whats happening.
  • They bring more thoughts of serious health problems, especially with your heart.
  • You probably wont return to sleep quickly or easily.
  • You may begin being afraid of going to sleep again.

How To Cope With Nighttime Panic Attacks

One of the biggest problems with these attacks is that they happen at night and without warning, so you are unable to prepare. If you do find yourself in the grip of a nocturnal panic attack, try to breathe deeply, relax all your muscles and hold onto thoughts or images that make you feel safe and peaceful.

Taking control of your breathing is an important first step. You may wish to practice mindful breathing when you are not in the middle of a panic attack, so that it is easier to do during an attack. Some people listen to a guided breathing exercise or keep a simple list of what you need to do next to the bed.

Calm your breathing by taking regular breaths in through your nose and then out through your lips. Do this to the count of five, hold one second, then do a slow exhale to the count of four. Wait for two seconds and then repeat. Keep your mind on your breathing. Do this repetitive breathing as many times as necessary, until your heart rate slows and your symptoms ease.

Muscle relaxation techniques are also helpful. Simply tense and then relax the different muscle groups, starting with your feet and working all the way up to your head. Take a deep breath, tighten the muscle, hold for a few seconds, then breathe out while relaxing the muscle. This reduces the tension in your body and combats the panic attack. Again, practice this technique when you are not in the throes of an attack.

Need someone to talk with? We can help.

Don’t Miss: What Is The Phobia Of Throwing Up Called

How Do You Calm An Anxiety Attack At Night

Night time is often considered to be a time of relaxation, where we mentally unwind and prepare ourselves for sleep. However, it is still quite common to experience an anxiety attack at night. This page looks at the symptoms of a night-time anxiety attack and offers a range of tips on how to overcome this nocturnal disturbance.

Louise Baillie

What Should You Do If You Are Having A Panic Attack At Home


Taking care of panic attacks at home is possible, but be careful not to mistake another serious illness for a panic attack. In fact, this is the dilemma that doctors face when people experiencing panic are brought to a hospital’s emergency department or the clinic.

  • SSNRs: include duloxetine and venlafaxine . Clinical trials have shown SSRIs reduce the frequency of panic attacks up to 75%-85%. SSRIs must be taken three to six weeks before they are effective in reducing panic attacks and are taken once daily.
  • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blocker medications like propranolol are sometimes used to treat the physical symptoms associated with panic.
  • Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are often used to provide short-term relief of panic symptoms. Clonazepam and lorazepam are examples of this group of medications. Although another benzodiazepine, alprazolam , is often used to treat panic attacks, the short period of time that it works can cause the panic sufferer to have to take it multiple times each day. Benzodiazepines tend to be effective in decreasing panic attacks by up to 70%-75% almost immediately however, this class of medications has strong addiction potential and should be used with caution. Additional drawbacks include sedation, memory loss, and after several weeks, tolerance to their effects and withdrawal symptoms may occur.
  • Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Cause Dehydration

    What Causes Anxiety Before Sleep

    According to clinical psychologist Emily Knott, Anxiety before bedtime often takes the form of a phenomenon referred to in psychology as pre-sleep arousal.

    Knott says that pre-sleep arousal may cause the body and nervous system to enter a state of heightened awareness that may take the form of problem-solving, thinking about your own thoughts, focusing on stimuli in the environment such as noise and light, and ruminating about the consequences of not being able to sleep.

    While there hasnt been extensive research conducted on sleep and anxiety, there are a few reasons why your anxiety may be worse at night. Here are possible causes.

    What Are Panic Disorder Symptoms

    A panic attack is a sudden strong feeling of fear that can happen anywhere, at any time. Youâll have four or more of these signs:

    • A sense of approaching danger
    • Pounding or fast heartbeat
    • Shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered
    • Throat tightness
    • A fear of losing control or going crazy
    • A fear of dying

    An attack usually passes in 5 to 10 minutes, but it can linger for hours. It can feel like youâre having a heart attack or a stroke. So people with panic attacks often wind up in the emergency room for evaluation.

    Many people with panic disorder relate an attack to what they were doing when it happened. They may think the restaurant, elevator, or classroom caused the attack. Then they’ll avoid those places. That may lead to something called agoraphobia, the fear of leaving home or being in public places.

    If you feel like you’re having a panic attack, see your doctor right away. They arenât dangerous, but they can get worse without treatment.

    Also keep in mind that symptoms of a panic attack are similar to those for more serious conditions. If you’re not sure if what you’re having is a panic attack, call your doctor, just to be safe.

    Don’t Miss: Whats The Fear Of Throwing Up

    How Common Are Nighttime Panic Attacks

    Theyre pretty common and the majority of people who have been diagnosed with panic disorder have probably experienced nocturnal panic attacks, says Dr. Bea. While anxiety is thought to be a component of sleep panic attacks, other stressors can trigger them.

    The absolute cause of panic attacks is pretty unknown at this point, but people who experience them may have histories of panic disorder, other anxiety disorders or behavioral health concerns that might be causing stress in general.

    Dr. Bea adds that when people feel panicked, its very common that they might be experiencing situations in their life where they feel relatively trapped.

    It could be occupationally, it could be in a relationship or in some other role that theyre playing. Its not uncommon to see correlates of that sort of tension in people who are having nighttime panic attacks. However, these types of panic attacks arent limited to people with a history of anxiety. They also arent rare. About 18% of panic attacks that people experience seem to occur at night.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Nighttime Anxiety

    Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Panic Attack While ...

    Symptoms of nighttime anxiety take on many forms, as it is experienced differently by everyone. Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, pediatrician and medical consultant for Mom Loves Best, says, Before bedtime is no different than anxiety during the day. The difference is that you may be more aware of anxiety at night as fewer other stimuli are co-occurring.

    While sleep anxiety is individual to each person, some of the most common symptoms include:

    • Nightmares and night terrors
    • Hypnic jerk

    Another symptom of sleep anxiety is panic attacks. This involves an episode of extreme fear thats characterized by a sense of doom, increased heart rate, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, and a feeling of detachment that could occur before or during sleep. After experiencing a nighttime panic attack, there can be anxiety about getting another attack, making it harder to fall asleep.

    Also Check: Fear Of Bees And Wasps Phobia

    What Causes Anxiety Attacks At Night

    Nighttime anxiety or panic attacks, like their day time cohorts, result from the ‘fight or flight’ instinct being triggered by a perceived aggressor. In this case, the aggressor is likely to be mental angst resulting from pent-up worries.

    In the business of daily life, these anxieties recede into the background, but then rear their monstrous heads at night when all distractions disappear. In the stillness of the night, there is no running away and anxieties can build, sometimes resulting in an anxiety attack.

    We also know that the brain does not fully switch off when we are asleep. How often does an event that occurred during the day lead to an odd dream during the night? Our brain naturally tries to process and sort out the day’s events and if these have been stressful then our dreams may well provoke anxiety too.

    If you think that you are not going to be able to fall asleep, then it is quite likely that you will have a battle on your hands. Try to follow some good sleep tips to switch off and give your brain a rest.

    How To Prevent Sleep Anxiety And Panic Attacks

    The last thing you want is your nocturnal panic attacks to become a frequent problem, which is why its so important to take the proper steps to prevent sleep anxiety and panic attacks. There are a few ways you can go about preventing panic attacks in your sleep, such as:

    If youre struggling with how to sleep with anxiety, it starts with practicing good sleep hygiene. There are many reasons why you should practice good sleep hygiene, such as improving your quality of sleep, reducing anxiety, and preventing the development of sleep problems. Preventing sleep anxiety and panic attacks means taking the necessary steps to practice good sleep hygiene. Now you know the importance of circadian rhythm, how to increase deep sleep, the benefits of having a nighttime routine, and more. Practice these methods, and youll find yourself relaxed and calm at night in no time.

    Read Also: What Does A Ptsd Flashback Look Like

    Treatment For Nocturnal Panic Attacks

    If any of the above rings true for you, or you’re interested in exploring nighttime anxiety further, it might be time to consult your practitioner. “Physicians and clinicians can diagnose panic disorder during an appointment based on the information the patient provides,” says Dr. Magavi.

    Some info you’ll want to have on hand to share with your doc, according to Dr. Magavi: “When the symptoms originated, any potential triggers or life changes, family and personal history of anxiety disorders, somatic and psychiatric symptoms experienced, duration and frequency of attacks, anticipatory anxiety about having future attacks, etc.”

    A potential treatment plan could likely be similar to that for general anxiety and panic disorder, says Breland-Noble. “Typically, we encourage people to undertake the same practices they would for panic attacks and anxiety, like seeing a professional who practices culturally-relevant cognitive behavioral therapy to learn coping and management skills, using contemplative practices like yoga and mindfulness meditation, or finding a close, trusted friend to decompress with after a hard day or moment,” she says. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and overall mental health, a doctor might also prescribe medication to fight against generalized anxiety and, in turn, nocturnal panic attacks.

    With that in mind, the following at-home tips may help address the anxiety that’s could be causing your nocturnal panic attacks:

    Panic Attack Or Panic Disorder

    Can I Have a Panic Attack while Sleeping? [ 1 Thing YOU Need to do when you Wake Up!]

    Anyone can experience panic attacks, especially in seasons of our lives when you suffer from large amounts of stress. However, just because you have one panic attack doesnt mean you have a panic disorder.

    The physical symptoms of panic attacks and panic disorder are the same. However, according to the Merck Manual, panic disorder is when you have frequent panic attacks and start to change your routines and life in order to avoid the attacks. You also have anxiety about having more panic attacks. If you have a history of panic attacks, you may be more likely to develop a panic disorder.

    Only a doctor can accurately diagnose a panic disorder. If you suspect you have a panic disorder, make sure to schedule an appointment with a mental health professional.

    Recommended Reading: Charles Manson Mental Diagnosis

    They Can Be Scary And Disorienting Here’s How To Cope With Manage And Even Prevent Panic Attacks At Night

    If you have ever experienced a panic attack, youre not alone. In fact, a larger number of people experience panic attacks than you might think.

    Panic attacks can occur at any time of the day. You can even be awakened out of your sleep with symptoms like an accelerated heartbeat, sweaty palms, and shortness of breath.

    Panic attacks at night are not uncommon and although they can disrupt your daily life and lead to chronic sleep anxiety, there is hope. There are steps you can take before, during, and after experiencing a nocturnal panic attack that may help treat and prevent them.

    Panic Attack Signs And Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of a panic attack develop abruptly and usually reach their peak within 10 minutes. They rarely last more than an hour, with most ending within 20 to 30 minutes. Panic attacks can happen anywhere and at any time. You may have one while youre in a store shopping, walking down the street, driving in your car, or even sitting on the couch at home.

    Panic attack symptoms include:

    • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
    • Heart palpitations or racing heart
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
    • Sweating
    • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
    • Numbness or tingling sensations
    • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

    Is it a heart attack or a panic attack?

    Most of the symptoms of a panic attack are physical, and many times these symptoms are so severe that you may think youre having a heart attack. In fact, many people suffering from panic attacks make repeated trips to the doctor or the emergency room in an attempt to get treatment for what they believe is a life-threatening medical problem. While its important to rule out possible medical causes of symptoms such as chest pain, elevated heart rate, or difficulty breathing, its often panic that is overlooked as a potential causenot the other way around.

    Don’t Miss: Feretrephobia

    More articles

    Popular Articles