Coping with Panic Attacks at Night:

by | Mar 30, 2023

Coping with Panic Attacks at Night:

by | Mar 30, 2023

In some cases, and due to numerous circumstances, we get to feeling depressed, hopeless, sad, and/or melancholic. This is normal, as all human beings experience a wide range of emotions. You cannot permanently be happy or in a state of excitement. Life presents us with circumstances such as losses, separations, and crises that we could not overcome if we did not first go through grief.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared? If so, you may be experiencing panic attacks at night. These sudden episodes of intense fear or discomfort can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or even go back to sleep after waking up.

Panic attacks at night are more common than you might think. According to research, up to 70% of people with panic disorder experience nocturnal panic attacks. This can be a scary and isolating experience, but there are strategies you can use to manage and cope with panic attacks at night. Here are some tips for a good night’s sleep:

Understand the Symptoms

The first step in coping with panic attacks at night is to understand the symptoms. Panic attacks are characterized by sudden and intense feelings of fear, anxiety, and discomfort. These symptoms can include a racing heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, and a feeling of impending doom.

When these symptoms occur at night, they can be especially frightening. You may feel like you are suffocating or having a heart attack. However, it’s important to remember that panic attacks cannot harm you and are not life-threatening.

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Practice Relaxation Techniques

One of the most effective ways to manage panic attacks at night is to practice relaxation techniques. These techniques can help you calm your mind and body, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality.

Some effective relaxation techniques to try include:

  • Deep breathing: Slow, deep breaths can help you relax and reduce feelings of anxiety. Deep breathing can be a helpful technique to prevent or manage panic attacks at night. Slow, deep breathing can help you relax and reduce feelings of anxiety, which can be especially beneficial when you are experiencing a panic attack. When you practice deep breathing, you focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can help slow down your heart rate and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Some experts recommend inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Incorporating deep breathing into your bedtime routine can also help you relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep. Try taking a few deep breaths before you go to bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: (PMR) is a relaxation technique that involves tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. This can be an effective method for preventing panic attacks at night because it helps to reduce muscle tension and promote overall relaxation, which can help to calm your mind and reduce anxiety.During a panic attack, you may experience symptoms such as racing thoughts, rapid heart rate, and muscle tension. Practicing PMR on a regular basis can help to reduce the overall levels of tension in your body, making it less likely that you will experience these symptoms during a panic attack. In addition to helping prevent panic attacks, PMR can also be beneficial for promoting better sleep. When you are more relaxed, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. To practice PMR, you can start by tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in your body, starting with your feet and working your way up to your head. You can do this while lying in bed before you go to sleep or if you wake up feeling anxious in the middle of the night. With practice, you can become more adept at using this technique to manage stress and anxiety, and to prevent panic attacks at night.
  • Visualization: is a technique that involves using mental imagery to create a peaceful and calming environment in your mind. It can be an effective tool to prevent panic attacks at night by helping to shift your focus away from anxious thoughts and onto more positive and calming ones. By visualizing a peaceful scene in your mind, such as a serene beach or a beautiful mountain landscape, you can help to calm your mind and reduce feelings of anxiety. This can be particularly helpful when you are experiencing a panic attack at night, as it can provide a positive distraction and help to redirect your thoughts away from feelings of panic and fear. In addition to helping prevent panic attacks, visualization can also be beneficial for promoting better sleep. By creating a peaceful and calming environment in your mind, you can help to reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. To practice visualization, you can start by finding a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful scene in your mind, using all of your senses to fully immerse yourself in the experience. For example, if you are visualizing a beach, you might imagine the sound of the waves crashing, the feeling of the warm sand between your toes, and the smell of the salty sea air. With practice, visualization can become a powerful tool to help prevent panic attacks at night and manage anxiety during the day.

Incorporating these techniques into your bedtime routine can help you relax and reduce the likelihood of panic attacks at night.

Create a Calming Sleep Environment

Creating a calming sleep environment is another important strategy for coping with panic attacks at night. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, cool, and dark. Use soothing colors, comfortable bedding, and calming scents such as lavender.

Try to avoid electronic devices before bedtime as they can interfere with sleep. If you must use a device, use a blue light filter or wear blue light blocking glasses.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt sleep and trigger anxiety. Limit your consumption of these substances, especially in the evening and before bedtime. Be aware that caffeine can be found in other sources, such as chocolate and some medications.

Get Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, but avoid exercising close to bedtime. Exercise helps to burn off excess energy and stress and has been shown to improve sleep quality.

Seek Professional Help

If panic attacks at night are affecting your quality of life and sleep, consider seeking professional help. A mental health professional can provide you with the support and guidance you need to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common and effective treatment for panic disorder. CBT helps you identify and challenge negative

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