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Why Do You Have Panic Attacks At Night

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When To Get Help

ANXIETY Worse at Night – Why?! and What to do when you cant rest at night

See a GP if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of panic disorder.

They’ll ask you to describe your symptoms, how often you get them, and how long you have had them.

They may also carry out a physical examination to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

It can sometimes be difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life, but try not to feel anxious or embarrassed.

You may be diagnosed with panic disorder if you have regular and unexpected panic attacks followed by at least a month of continuous worry or concern about having further attacks.

The Last Word About Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Dealing with nocturnal panic attacks, particularly for the first time, is not easy, especially since the symptoms can be somewhat similar to that of having a heart attack. That said, aside from learning why panic attacks happen, its important that you know what nocturnal panic attacks treatment is available to you. Most PD patients undergo cognitive therapy along with medications to help reduce their panic attacks, while some are given prescription medications alone. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis of a specialist.

It is understandable that experiencing signs and symptoms of nocturnal panic attacks may be scary, but the good news is that help is out there. Just follow the tips mentioned above on how to deal with the symptoms, and youll find yourself going back to sleep in no time. However, if you find that your panic attacks are becoming severe, make sure to schedule a visit with your doctor immediately.

Anxiety Attacks At Night

Have you ever been jolted awake;by a grip of anxiety attack at night? This type of attack is commonly referred to as nocturnal or nighttime panic attack. It usually occurs with no obvious triggers in place. Just like daytime panic attack, victims of this problem experience rapid heart rate, sweating, shortness of breath, trembling, hyperventilation, sense of impending doom, chills, or flushing. Although the anxiety;attack may only last for a few minutes, it may take you some time to get back to sleep.

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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.

Why Is This Blog About Mini Panic Attacks When Falling Asleep Is Important

Panic Attacks: Common Symptoms and How to Cope

As we discussed, mini panic attacks when falling asleep are not dangerous and only last a few seconds. Remember they are situational and if you analyze them, you will potentially find the triggers. It is important to determine whether you are experiencing mini panic attacks, nightmares or nocturnal panic attacks based on the triggers and time each episode lasts.;

Dealing with anxiety and stress during the day could help you manage it better during the night. If you determine you are suffering from any of the conditions we have mentioned, make sure to set up an appointment with your doctor to further assess the situation.;

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

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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:

Get Up Stand Up Wake Up

If you’ve just been awakened by a nocturnal panic attack, the chances of your quickly falling asleep again are pretty low. If you want, give yourself a minute to see if you’re lucky enough for that to occur, but I wouldn’t wait any longer than that. The longer you lie there and wonder, the more panic and frustration you’ll probably experience.

So I suggest you get up and out of bed. Fully wake yourself. Splash some water on your face, have a drink of water, check on the dog, cat, or parakeet. Do a few ordinary things to help yourself wake up. A nocturnal panic attack is not the same thing as a nightmare, but you can treat it like one.

Don’t turn on the TV, start reading, or try other things in an effort to fall right back asleep. A lot of people try to distract themselves from a nocturnal attack, but I don’t put much stock in this, because distraction works best when it’s spontaneous. With a nocturnal panic attack, you’re liable to try too hard to distract yourself, and get into a struggle with your thoughts. If distraction is going to help, it should help right away. Give it a minute, at most.

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Offer Comfort To Your Dog During A Panic Attack

If your dog is having a panic attack and he comes to you for attention, you can pet, hug, or hold him if that helps ease the signs of his panic.

Depending on how intense the episode is, you can try to:

  • Distract and redirect your dog to play with toys

  • Take your dog for a walk

  • Practice basic dog obedience cues or tricks for high value-treats

;Other dogs may enjoy being pet, brushed, or massaged by their owners.

You should also provide a place for your dog to hide. Play calming classical music and make sure the space is free of external stimulants . You can also use dog pheromone sprays or plug-in diffusers to help reduce anxiety in that location.

How To Handle A Panic Attack

Panic Attacks at Night – Why They Happen and How to Get Rid of Them

Professor Paul Salkovskis, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Applied Science at the University of Bath, says it’s important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.

“Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “Tell yourself that the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by anxiety.”

He says don’t look for distractions. “Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, it’s important to try to;remain in;the situation until the anxiety has subsided.”

“Confront your fear. If you don’t run away from it, you’re giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing’s going to happen.”

As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and continue to do what you were doing before.

“If youre having a short, sudden panic attack, it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Professor Salkovskis.

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Anxiety Attack Symptoms Include:

  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy.
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain.
  • Feeling like youre going to pass out.
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation.
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Nausea or stomach cramps.
  • Feeling detached or unreal.

Its important to seek help if youre starting to avoid certain situations because youre afraid of having a panic attack. The truth is that panic attacks are highly treatable. In fact, many people are panic free within just 5 to 8 treatment sessions.

What Causes Panic Disorder

While the exact causes are not known, what researchers do know is that panic disorder does sometimes run in families. And it is often seen in individuals who suffer from other anxiety disorders explains Cole.

For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience a panic attack when their schedule or compulsions are interrupted. Individuals who struggle with specific phobias are also susceptible to panic attacks. A person with an extreme fear of heights may experience a panic attack in a penthouse apartment.

And for someone with generalized anxiety disorder , a condition characterized by extreme fear or worry, the unending anxiety can escalate to a panic attack. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher incidence of panic disorder than the general population.; Illness or traumatic events increase the chances of panic attacks.

People with hyperthyroidism , mitral valve prolapse, and other conditions or diseases also may be more easily triggered.

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What Does A Nocturnal Panic Attack Feel Like

A nocturnal panic attack may feel like a day time panic attack with the same or similar symptoms. These panic attacks can happen without any obvious trigger and will wake you up making you feel confused and frightened. The symptoms include sweating, increased heart rate and breathing rate, chest pain, feeling like choking, hyperventilation, and a sense of impending doom.

What Is A Panic Attack

Are You Having Panic Attacks? (TEST)

A panic attack is a sudden and intense feeling of fear or distress. These feelings typically increase before they gradually begin to fade and can happen at any time. Panic attacks are related to anxiety, says Janelle Watson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Embrace Wellness.

Anxiety affects about 40 million adults, which is around 18 percent of the population.

Although panic attacks are a symptom of anxiety, panic attacks are different from general anxiety due to the speed of onset, says Crystal Clark, MD, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

About 3 to 5 percent of U.S. adults at some point in their life will be diagnosed with panic disorder, which is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurring attacks of sudden fear.

Panic attacks generally reach a peak of more severe or intense symptoms within 10 minutes. Unfortunately, “panic attacks don’t always wear a sign on their foreheads to announce that they might make a visit,” Dr. Clark says. “It’s very much possible for a person to experience regular panic attacks without warning.”

This is especially true for nighttime panic attacks. But if you experience frequent panic attacks, you may begin to identify specific triggers to help better prevent, manage, and cope with themday or night.

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How To Cope With A Panic Attack At Night

Waking up and discovering youre having a panic attack can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and the fact that youre probably still groggy and trying to come round from sleep, can make you feel out of control and cause you to panic even more.

If youre having a nocturnal panic attack, try the following:

Dont fight it

If you wake up and youre having a panic attack, its important not to fight it, as this could make things worse. Accept the panic attack for what it is and let the feelings wash over you. Remember, it is only temporary, and it will fade eventually. You just need to let it happen.

Try and relax

Try to get your body back into a relaxed state. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly to regulate your breathing. Relax your muscles, and try to focus your mind on positive thoughts and images.

Get up and do something

Go back to bed when youre ready

Only go back to bed when youre beginning to feel tired again and ready for sleep. When youre in bed, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, to the extent that your whole abdomen, not just your chest, is rising and falling.

What Causes Anxiety Attacks At Night

The causes of night panic attack include but;not limited to the following.

  • Genetics.;People are more;likely to experience the problem;if a member of the family;has it.
  • Vitamin B Deficiency.;Research has shown that people with low levels of vitamin B tend to have;anxiety attacks.
  • Chemical Imbalance.;The body is composed of various neurotransmitters. When their balance is disturbed, it may lead to fear, depression, anxiety, causing;panic attacks at night.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea.;This is a situation where the airway is blocked, which causes lack of breath or hypoventilation. However, it is important to note that people with obstructive sleep apnea often wake up and go back to sleep after the attack without realizing the problem. Nevertheless, some people hyperventilate and this contributes to panic attacks at night.
  • Acid Reflux.;Acid reflux manifests itself with various symptoms which may include chest pains, a pressure in the chest;and difficulty in breathing. In some cases, it may lead to hyperventilation, night sweats, and eventually anxiety;attacks at night.
  • Hyperventilation Disorder.;This is a chronic problem, which affects many people who experience a panic attack at night. Stress and anxiety are the main contributors. Some people who have very poor breathing habits are prone to;hyperventilation.

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How To Minimize Anxiety And Maximize Sleep

To get to sleep more easily, you can try changing some of your pre-sleep habits to decrease your mental and physical stress levels. Habit-changing takes time and persistence, but if you stick to these changes, you will find yourself adapting and feeling less anxious overall in no time.

Avoiding the anxiety that keeps you from getting the sleep you need can be difficult, but following the above all-natural and healthy techniques may be all that you require taking back control over your sleep schedule.

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Coping With Panic Attacks At Night

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

If youve ever had a panic attack, you know just how scary the experience can be. Panic attacks can come on suddenly and feel as though they last for a long time, even if they only last for a minute or two. During a panic attack it can be hard for a person to express themselves coherently. Nocturnal panic attacks are a common symptom of Panic Disorder1, but can also occur during withdrawal from substance abuse.

What is a panic attack?

Panic attacks are characterised by a sudden onset of intense anxiety. When they happen, the person suffering might experience of range of distressing symptoms, such as2:

  • Loss of a sense of control
  • Rapid breathing, shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations, chest pain
  • Feeling as though you are being choked
  • Nausea
  • Body temperature fluctuation
  • Muscle spasms

When a panic attack happens for the first time, a person can feel as though they are suffering from a heart attack, or that they are having a nervous breakdown. The experience of having a panic attack can be so terrifying that sufferers may fear having another one in the future. Sometimes this fear can trigger a panic attack, which creates a vicious cycle of anxiety.

Why do I get panic attacks at night?

Panic attacks can make a person feel as though they are completely alone in their experience. The thoughts and feelings that come up can be deeply personal and difficult to rationalise. However, nocturnal panic attacks are more common than many sufferers believe.3

Dont resist it


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Panic Disorder In Children

Panic disorder is more common in teenagers than in younger children.

Panic attacks can be particularly hard for children and young people to deal with. Severe panic disorder may affect their development and learning.

If your child has the signs and symptoms of panic disorder, they should see a GP.

After taking a detailed medical history the GP will carry out a thorough physical examination to rule out any physical causes for the symptoms.

They may refer your child to a specialist for further assessment and treatment. The specialist may recommend a course of CBT for your child.

Screening for other anxiety disorders may also be needed to help find the cause of your child’s panic attacks.

Gerd Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, has also been linked to sleeping panic attacks. GERD itself is an irritating but fairly benign disorder. But it can affect you in your sleep, especially if you ate too soon before going to bed. Lying down after eating increases GERD symptoms considerably, and each of these symptoms represents a potential trigger for panic attacks:

  • Chest pains
  • Night sweats
  • Hyperventilation

Some people also have trouble breathing, sore throats, and other issues that can become panic attack triggers. Many of those with nighttime GERD do not notice that they have any symptoms at night unless they wake up, and even if they wake up they simply deal with the discomfort and go back to sleep.

But others with tendencies toward anxiety are not so lucky, and it’s possible that their anxiety and GERD combine to increase the likelihood of nocturnal panic attacks.

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Can Nighttime Panic Attacks Be Prevented

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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