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Panic attacks while sleeping

When a panic attack happens at night, the person would do anything just to sleep it over, which is rarely possible because they are afraid that it might happen again if they fall asleep. Besides the inability to move any part of the body and feeling of suffocation, several other symptoms are typical of panic attacks that happen overnight or while sleeping. Some of them are shortness of breath, feeling that the person is about to die or that they have some deadly disease, and nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heart rate, pain in the back and a few other physical symptoms. When talking about the causes, it is much better to talk about the factors that might contribute to the occurrence of night panic attacks, although they are more or less the same as factors that contribute to their appearance during the day (worries, stress, loss of a job or a loved one, and other stressful events). It is believed that they tend to occur at night as well because while sleeping, the control over the mental state is unconsciously lost, which results in the accumulation of negative thoughts in the mind of the sufferer. People who are at higher risk of experiencing nocturnal panic attacks are those who suffer from hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia, mitral valve prolapse, heart attack or stroke. It is not unusual that women who are pregnant experience panic attacks at night, but this happens due to many changes that they go through, as well as due to anxiety that pregnancy tends to give rise to.

How to deal with panic attacks while sleeping?

When it comes to dealing with panic attacks during night, some basic pieces of advice consist of the following:

  • First of all, the person needs to be aware that the attack is the cause of awakening.
  • Once the person becomes aware of the panic attack, it is recommended not to get out of the bed right away, because it might aggravate the condition. Instead, it is better to stay in bed.
  • Deep breathing will bring more oxygen in the body and refresh it, and after some time, the person should feel that the severity of the attack is slowly reducing.
  • It is necessary to exercise on regular basis and to avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible, as well as watching television before falling asleep. Instead, it is better to try to relax the body and the mind before falling asleep.

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