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Nocturnal Panic Attacks:
How to Stop These Super, Sneaky Anxiety Attacks From Stealing Your Sleep

What the heck are nocturnal panic attacks and why are they so darn sneaky?

You're probably used to having panic attacks during the daytime hours or even at night sometimes. But these bouts of anxiety might have only happened while you were awake.

You certainly don't expect a panic attack to draw you out of a sound sleep.


Nocturnal Panic Attacks: How to Stop These Super, Sneaky Anxiety Attacks From Stealing Your Sleep

Image Credit: Canva



Nocturnal Panic Attacks: How to Stop These Super, Sneaky Anxiety Attacks From Stealing Your Sleep

Image Credit: Canva


Nocturnal panic attacks can really disrupt your life.  They can lower your quality of sleep and potentially keep you from getting the rest needed to help manage anxiety in the first place.  

Nocturnal panic attacks affect you in the same physical, emotional and cognitive levels as "regular" anxiety attacks.

If you've been awoken by a panic attack, you may think that you're having a heart attack or some other medical emergency. And since you don't expect to have panic attacks during sleep, you may feel both irritated and trapped.

I know I did.

What is especially frustrating about nighttime panic attacks is the resulting cortisol racing through your blood.  Not to mention the resulting stress could make it difficult to resume sleep.

So What Causes Nocturnal Panic Attacks in the First Place?

Unfortunately, it's not clear what causes nocturnal panic attacks. But I believe they are strongly tied to anxiety disorders like agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and social anxiety disorder to name a few. 

It's worth mentioning that nighttime panic attacks can be attributed to medical conditions not necessarily associated with anxiety such as sleep apnea and night terrors. 



How Do You Get Rid of Nighttime Panic Attacks?

The good news is that these attacks entirely treatable. I believe the key to treating these attacks involves the same focus used to treat panic attacks that happen while you're awake.  

Of course, medication may be a viable form of treatment. But there's a good availability of drug-free techniques that you can use right now to reduce the risk of panic attacks disrupting your precious slumber.

Shun coffee and stimulants before bedtime

I know this seems incredibly obvious, but it's worth repeating. Anxiety sufferers are more vulnerable to the stimulating effects of caffeine. Try going without this stimulant by substituting with decaffeinated beverages.

If you absolutely must have your caffeine fix limit your intake to one drink a day, and at least six hours before bedtime.

Try great sleepy time beverages that are rich in valerian root and chamomile to help you sleep better.

Start by doing a little mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation is a century's old technique to calm and balance the mind.  Regular practice helps you tune out constant mind chatter and anxieties that can trigger nocturnal panic attacks.

This wonderful guided meditation will help you sleep soundly.  Try it tonight...

Practice your breathing 

Have you ever noticed that when you're anxious, you might tend to hold your breath? This is a subconscious reaction to anxiety.  But, practicing breathing techniques on a regular basis primes your parasympathetic nervous system, aka your automatic nervous system.

Your parasympathetic nervous system controls your heart rate, breathing, digestion and even your blood pressure.
 
Exercise can also significantly improve sleep quality and help reduce panic attacks over time. 

Take the right supplements

Nutrition plays a vital role in our mood. Getting the right nutrients determines your well-being from day to day.  

Consider getting your hands on some magnesium. Interesting fact,  magnesium deficiency significantly contributes to anxiety symptoms.  

So what's the best way to take this vital mineral? You can take a magnesium supplement. Another option is to use transdermal magnesium oil, meaning a magnesium based oil that is easily absorbed through the skin.

Apply transdermal magnesium oil onto the soles of your feet before bedtime.   Put on a pair of your favorite comfy socks and prepare for a great night's sleep.  This article provides additional information on supplements that effectively treat anxiety.

Release your emotions

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a gentle, yet effective way of relieving anxiety. By gently tapping on your body's energy points you can calm the fears that feed panic attacks. Try it tonight.

Nocturnal Panic Attacks: Additional Resources

Insomnia Treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills – Forget sleeping pills. This article by the Mayo Clinic explains how CBT can be used to treat insomnia.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This Sleep Education article focuses on common forms of CBT used to treat sleep disorders. 

I hope this article helps you on your journey towards better mental health.

Bright Skies Are Ahead,




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Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!




Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!