Treating Nocturnal Panic Attacks in 5 Ways

Wednesday , 4, November 2020 Comments Off on Treating Nocturnal Panic Attacks in 5 Ways

You might be suffering from panic attacks during your sleep if you wake up sweating, racing heart or feel like choking. To help you take proper care here is some information.


Introduction to Sleep Panic Attacks

Nocturnal panic attacks wake the person up from sleep, in extreme state of anxiety. They occur during the last stages of sleep. They aren’t dangerous, but can be alarming.  It’s hard to go back to sleep once you’re awake due to panic attack.

If you suspect you’re waking up from sleep panic attacks, consult your physician to rule everything else out.  Once you know all the other possibilities are ruled out, you should reach out to mental health professional and make a proper diagnosis and treatment method.

Difference between anxiety attack and panic attack

While some people describe severe anxiety periods as anxiety attacks, the term itself has no clinical definition as opposed to panic attack. Also, dream induced arousal or nightmare differ from the nocturnal panic attack.

Panic attack indications

The physical indications are:

  1. Tremble
  2. Perspiration
  3. Short-winded
  4. flushed
  5. Tingling
  6. Hyper-ventilating
  7. Alarmed
  8. Rapid heart beat
  9. Nauseated
  10. Choking

The terrible experience can also cause a few mental symptoms.

  1. Dreading or feeling intense amount of fear
  2. Fearing death or losing control
  3. Disoriented condition

Reasons of Nocturnal Panic Attack

A research says that any underlying condition or genetics and stress can contribute towards panic attacks. The people who have sleep panic attacks are likely to experience panic attacks while awake. From 44 to 71% people who suffer from panic disorder have experienced one sleep panic disorder at least. Childhood sleep fears are linked with sleep panics in adulthood.

How to handle nocturnal panic attacks

Many treatments can help if you suffer from panic attacks in sleep. Using plush memory foam mattress may help.  Have a look at the listed techniques and choose the best ones for yourself.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing helps increase activating PNS. Start inhaling and exhaling at slow pace, counting along breathing. Increase count with each breath.

You can practice diaphragmatic breathing as well. Place a hand on your chest and another on your tummy. Feel the stomach expanding when you inhale and press your lower hand, keeping your chest rather still. Now exhale and feel your belly go down again, while your chest is tolerably stable.

Attempt PMR

PMR stands for progressive muscle relaxation. Tighten and relax each muscle as you start from your feet to head or the other way. This can also help you relax and release distressing feelings, as muscles often get stiff because of anxiety or panic.

Resist fighting panic attack altogether

The matters can get more difficult if you try to force yourself to escape panic attack.

Sleep if you’re feeling tired again

Sleeping instantly after waking up even in general situations is not easy. So, it is always a good idea to be actually tired, to go back to sleep. Once you’re awake, it’s better to move out of bed and read or stretch out until you feel drowsy again.

Preventive steps:

Some changes in lifestyle can help prevent nocturnal panic attack. If you include any form of caffeine in your diet, reduce its consumption post 2 pm. Additionally, look into your bedtime regimen. Try to fix timing for sleeping and waking up every day. Any soothing bedtime practice like meditation can help you ease into calming state. You can also consider CBT which teaches you to change futile behaviors and thoughts. Researches indicate CBT can help in lowering arousal in nocturnal panic attacks and reduce symptoms.