Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Can You Wake Up From A Panic Attack

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Check Your Sleeping Habits

Why you’re waking up in a panic attack

When we dont get a proper good nights sleep we tend to feel irritable, anxious, and even unable to concentrate the next morning so having this happen repeatedly can actually affect your mental and physical overall health.

According to Sheryl Ankrom from, here are some healthy sleep habits to consider:

  • Avoid stimulating activities two to three hours before bedtime .
  • Engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime like curling up with a good book or getting a back rub from your partner.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Keep your bedroom cold and dark .
  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.

Add a cup of this Best Night Time teas to your sleep hygiene routine for anxiety-free nights.

Why Do I Keep Waking Up With Anxiety

One of the most frustrating parts about morning anxiety is that there usually isnt an obvious cause or trigger.

Heres the critical key idea you need to understand if you want to know why you keep waking up with anxiety:

Theres a big difference between the initial cause of your morning anxiety and the maintaining cause.

Any number of factors can cause morning anxiety initially:

  • A period of high stress
  • Insomnia
  • Relationship conflict
  • Physical illness or medical issues

But theres usually only one thing that maintains morning anxiety and keeps it going: the habit of worry.

Almost always, the pattern with morning anxiety looks like this:

  • Some external issue causes a period of morning anxiety initially. For example, if you have a 2-week period of work that is incredibly stressful, it would make sense that that work stress would be on your mind first thing in the morning. Or, if you had a bad case of the flu for a week, it would make sense that you might start waking up and immediately worrying about how youre going to feel.
  • To sum up:

    Many things can cause morning anxiety initially, but its worrying about being anxious that keeps you waking up with anxiety.

    Well talk about some practical ways to break this habit of worry and escape the cycle of morning anxiety in the final section of this guide.

    Is Cpap Giving You Panic Attacks

    Some people find the mask uncomfortable and may have panic attacks when first starting CPAP therapy.

    Some things to try:

    • Practice wearing your mask for brief periods while watching TV
    • Do breathing exercises to help your body realize it can still breathe through the mask
    • Turn on your CPAP & practice feeling how your body reacts to the air pressure
    • Make sure youre relaxed before bedtime
    • Wear the mask for a couple hours then a little longer each night
    • Ask your doctor about the ramp mode
    • Try a different mask

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    Stress Hormones And Generalized Anxiety

    If you are dealing with excessive anxiety in the morning, theres a good chance you may also have generalized anxiety or something researchers call The Cortisol Awakening Response . The stress hormone, cortisol, is released by the adrenal glands in response to fear or stress. Researchers have found that cortisol is highest in the first hour of waking for people with an increased level of anxiety. This helps explain why you may experience an increase in anxiety in the morning.

    When you wake up, the body is already in fight or flight at the memory and thought of another anxiety-filled day ahead. Now cue negative thinking before the day has even begun, creating a repeating cycle of early morning dread. Not to mention, the latter part of the night and early part of the morning generally sees a natural increase in both Cortisol and blood pressure as the body prepares to start another day.

    Panic Attacks Are Night

    Panic attack when waking up

    Nocturnal panic attacks are not a subject that is discussedwidely, so many feel disheartened and worried when they experience a panicattack while sleeping. However, studies show that the majority of people withpanic disorder experience nocturnal panic attacks.

    Experiencing a panic attack a night could be both upsettingand confusing, because its an experience that combines the fear of a daytimepanic attack with the reality that at night youre barely awake enough to processwhats happening.

    Moreover, people who experience a panic attack whilesleeping may feel even more vulnerable because its dark and the middle of thenight.

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    How To Stop Panic Attacks At Night

    Getting a good nights sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep promotes rest and relaxation, and gives us a chance to recuperate and let go of the stresses of the day. However, this isnt the case for the many individuals who struggle with panic attacks at night.

    Here, we provide advice on how to cope with panic attacks at night, and give tips on how to reduce them.

    What Causes Sleeping Panic Attacks

    Even though the panic attack is said to occur while you sleep, the idea that it’s a “sleeping panic attack” may be a little misleading. Its very difficult to sleep throughout the course of these panic attacks, and the actual attack usually wakes you up, causing significant fear and disorientation.

    There are many possible causes of panic attacks, generally speaking. Often, panic attacks during the day are caused by an interaction between your bodily sensations and your thoughts. During the night, however, this might not necessarily be the trigger, given that youre somewhat disconnected from your bodily and mental processes. There are, however, additional issues that may affect those who suffer from nocturnal panic attacks. These issues include:

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    F What Can I Do For Panic Attacks

    Today, anxiety disorders are treatable, so theres lots you can do.

    Unfortunately, too many people dont get help.

    In fact, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the US alone, yet only a third of people suffering receive treatment according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

    Here are some of the things you can do:

    Find a therapist A type of counseling known as cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to the feelings that come with a panic attack. Learn more

    Medications Theyre many different types of medications used to treat anxiety disorders such as panic disorder: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , beta-blockers, and benzodiazepines. Be sure to talk with your doctor about possible side effects. Learn more

    Lifestyle changes Avoid substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and illicit drugs that can trigger or worsen panic anxiety.

    Aerobic exercise Light to moderate aerobic exercise has been shown to help with anxiety. Learn more

    Relaxation exercises Deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and muscle relaxation techniques have been used to help with panic attacks.

    Learn more: Muscle relaxation

    Natural remedies Herbal supplements that contain kava have been found to be helpful for some people with mild to moderate panic disorder. Learn more

    Can Nighttime Panic Attacks Be Prevented

    Waking up from a nocturnal panic attack and can’t breathe – what to do

    According to Dr. Bea, one of the characteristics of true panic is that it occurs spontaneously like a bolt of lightning across a blue sky. While we cant prevent sleep panic attacks, he says that we can develop more effective mechanisms for coping with the stressors in our lives.

    You might increase exercise or start a mindfulness practice. Overall, it doesnt hurt to actively develop coping strategies. However, understand that doing these things may or may not influence the experience of a nighttime panic attack.

    Whats another thing you can do to lessen the intensity of a sleep panic attack? Normalize the experience.

    Dr. Bea explains.

    These experiences feel threatening and dangerous. You fear the worst when your hearts racing, youre short of breath, youre trembling and you have a sense of impending doom or feel like youre losing control, he says.

    As frightening as the experience is, its safe. Of course, when we have a catastrophic thought or appraisal of the event, it tends to drive more panic it gets our body aroused. Learn to normalize that experience, to notice the sensations but dont try to fix them.

    Dr. Bea compares it to being in quicksand.

    After a sleep panic attack, youre not going to recover quickly and go right back to sleep. Dr. Bea recommends getting up and going into another room to do a relaxing activity . No catching up on work or paying bills. Do something that will help you calm down until youre able to go back to sleep.

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    What Is Sleep Anxiety

    Sleep anxiety is a type of performance anxiety that involves a cycle of anxious thoughts before going to bed, many of which involve unease, nervousness, and worry. While there are dozens of tasks to occupy your cognitive functions during the day, your brain can often struggle to keep itself busy at night, thus resorting to any anxious emotions and thoughts. Anxiety can lead to an endless cycle of stress and poor sleep. If you often experience nighttime anxiety, it may be hard to tell whether youre having trouble sleeping because youre anxious or youre feeling anxious because you cant sleep. According to research, sleep and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Having anxiety can cause sleeping problems and make it difficult to sleep, but sleep deprivation can also trigger anxiety. If youre unable to sleep, you may dread going to bed and waking up feeling even more sleep deprived. UC Berkeley researchers suggest that the lack of sleep can ramp up regions in the brain that trigger excessive worry, which provokes further anxiety and makes sleep even more elusive

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    Follow A Morning Routine

    Morning anxiety can make it difficult to get up and out. Having a solid routine for the first two hours of the day allows you to get your day started and interrupt the negative thoughts swirling in your head, Mendez says.

    A routine may also help you feel more in control, which can reduce feelings of anxiety. In addition, “repetition is soothing,” says Holland-Kornegay.

    Your routine should incorporate the steps that can reduce morning anxiety. For example:

    • Wake up and make breakfast. Ease into your morning with a calming, nutritious start. Try oatmeal with fruit and nuts, which contains plenty of magnesium.
    • Exercise or practice mindfulness. Go for a 10-minute walk, or meditate for 5 minutes. You can even practice walking meditation to do both at once.
    • Shower. Take a relaxing, steamy cleanse after your exercise or meditation. You can also listen to classical music or your favorite calming tune.
    • Get ready. Prepare to work from home or commute with plenty of time to spare, so you’re not in a rush or stressed about time constraints.

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    Be Cautious Of Caffeine

    Some research indicates that people with anxiety disorders are particularly susceptible to the effects of caffeine, which is believed to worsen the symptoms of anxiety.

    “Caffeine promotes and increases anxiety,” Gelbart says. You may want to limit your morning coffee intake or avoid it altogether. Gelbart recommends switching to decaf coffee or black tea, or sipping a glass of lemon water in the morning instead.

    Always Seek Professional Advice

    Panic Disorder

    Always seek medical advice if you are not sure whether your symptoms, or another persons symptoms, indicate a panic attack. In an emergency, dial triple zero for an ambulance. Its important to see your doctor for a check-up to make sure that any recurring physical panic-like symptoms are not due to illnesses, including:

    • Diabetes

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    How To Prevent Panic Attacks At Night

    Preventing panic attacks is the goal, and there are plenty of self-help tips a person can employ to succeed in this area. Best of all, many of these tips include small changes that can result in big differences.

    To prevent nocturnal panic attacks, try the following:6

    • Acknowledge your anxiety: The best way to start treating your anxiety is my acknowledging and accepting it. Call it what it is and dont feel ashamed by your struggle with panic.
    • Address your diet: The foods you eat during the day could have a huge impact on your sleep and nocturnal panic. Stick to healthy, whole foods with plenty of fiber and protein to keep you full all night.
    • Exercise away your stress: Moving your body has a tremendously positive impact on stress, so consider starting a walking program or hitting the gym to melt away your anxiety.
    • Avoid the negative coping skills: A great diet and exercise plan can be quickly undone by negative coping skills like alcohol and other drug use. Dont give into the temptation to have a drink before bed. It wont help in the long run.
    • Practice relaxation: Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, and meditation are all wonderful relaxation techniques that can reduce and prevent panic.
    • Incorporate better sleep hygiene: Getting to sleep at the same time in a dark, cool, calm room can improve your sleep and decrease the risk of nocturnal panic.

    Write Down Your Worries On Paper

    According to Juanita Wells, director of clinical development at New Method Wellness, putting your thoughts down on paper can help us remain accountable to ourselves, our feelings, our purpose, and plan.

    Instead of letting thoughts and to-dos swirl around in your brain, write them down so that your brain has a game plan for the following day. Wells says that writing down your anxious feelings, especially through stream-of-consciousness journaling , can help ease anxiety before bed.

    In addition to calming pre-bedtime anxiety, research shows that journaling can also help you fall asleep more quickly. To get started journaling, just snuggle up with your notebook and some cozy pillows and let your thoughts take it away.

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    What To Expect If You Wake Up With Panic Attacks

    If you wake up with a panic attack, its natural to feel very disoriented. The symptoms may seem overwhelming.

    You may have difficulty knowing if youre dreaming or not. You may even think youre having a heart attack. Symptoms like chest pain arent uncommon.

    Most panic attacks last no more than 10 minutes and symptoms will wane throughout that phase. If you wake up with a panic attack, you may be nearing the peak of the symptoms. Symptoms could ease from that point.

    The Answer: Morning Anxiety

    How Anxiety Messes With Your Sleep

    Wide awake, but feeling wired, anxious, AND tired,Negative thoughts,What will the day bring?

    Sadly, morning anxiety seems to be a common experience, given personal stories from family and friends, descriptions from clients, and the plethora of articles with titles like, Early Morning Anxiety, and Morning Panic. There are many possible contributing factors. Listed below are some explanations and ideas that will help:

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    Other Treatment Options For Sleep Panic Attacks

    If sleep panic attacks are happening quite often, medications can help as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy or mindfulness-based therapies. The one thing that you dont want to do is hit the bottle for relief.

    Alcohol can accelerate heart rate and get our bodies kind of aroused. If youre drinking alcohol late in the evening, that could be a particularly predisposing sort of thing for panic. With people who are anxious and panicky, if they overuse alcohol, they often feel very anxious when they wake up. So alcohol could be a contributing factor for panic attacks with some individuals.

    Waiting For The Disturbing Dreams To Disappear

    Since I have no control over my dreams, my only option is to wait it out and try to maintain my sanity. Insomnia causes stress. Stress causes insomnia. Disturbing dreams cause exhaustion and stress, and the cycle continues.

    While I stumble through what seems like endless days of exhaustion, all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that it resolves itself sooner rather than later. Have you experienced dreams disturbing enough to jolt you awake? How did you cope with it? I am seeking answers, so please share your experience with me.

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    Impacts Of Panic Attacks At Night

    Nighttime panic attacks result in issues both directly and indirectly. Directly, the person will feel immensely uncomfortable, fearful, and scared. Indirectly, these panic attacks and the fear of additional panic attacks can result in higher levels of stress and anxiety that spread throughout the individuals waking life.

    As the person begins to anticipate the next panic attack, they could:1,2

    Overall, panic attacks are extremely problematic and detrimental to the individual who experiences them.

    Panic attacks are linked to:1,3

    • Higher rates of depression, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder
    • Greater physical health concerns
    • Higher rates of suicide

    How Are They Diagnosed

    Why you

    Blood tests, imaging tests, and physical exams cant determine if youre having a panic attack or if you have panic disorder. However, they can rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms, such as thyroid and heart diseases, among others.

    If these tests results dont show an underlying condition, your doctor may discuss your symptoms and health history. They may also ask about your current stress levels and any events that are happening which could trigger panic attacks.

    If your doctor believes youve been having panic attacks or have panic disorder, they may refer you to a mental health specialist for additional evaluation. A therapist or psychologist can help you understand causes of panic disorder and work to eliminate them.

    While panic attacks may be unpleasant, theyre not dangerous. Symptoms can be bothersome and may be frightening, but these treatment measures may help reduce and stop them altogether. These treatments for panic attack include:

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