Some people experience a panic attack while sleeping. This can be disturbing to the person, particularly if it happens often. They may dread going to bed.

This can also cause insomnia as they find it very difficult to relax and let go when they go to bed. There may be constant worry, which is natural, but doesn't help their situation.

Rude Awakening

Though a panic attack can happen at any time and anywhere, you may be rudely awakened from a pleasant dream by a panic attack. Not everyone is affected this way though.

However, it can seem pretty traumatic waking up this way, sweating profusely, with your heart racing. Imagine waking up with your head spinning and you're short of breath.

When I first had panic attacks in 1981, I found sleep to be very difficult. I'd lie there almost every night until about 3 or 4 in the morning before finally nodding off.

My panic attacks caused me severe balance problems as well as vision problems. I had pictures of soccer players on my walls. Once the light was switched off, these photos started dancing all over the place.

It was scary and uncomfortable. The photos appeared to be moving about all over my wall and it felt like I was in a boat, bobbing up and down. It was torture.

Make Sure To Rule Out Other Possibilities

Though people do get panic attacks in their sleep, it's important to make sure it's not because of something else. For example, you may wake up suddenly, short of breath. It could be a form of sleep apnea (which would also need to be treated, by the way).

Make sure you have a 'clean bill of health' so as to rule out other potentially serious conditions before attributing anything to panic attacks. It may well be a panic attack. It's just that panic attacks mimic serious illnesses.

There's no doubt that a panic attack while sleeping does occur. No one knows why it happens during sleep. It's difficult enough to understand why it happens while you're awake!

Learn to do deep breathing to help calm you down. Try to learn this relaxing technique when you're NOT having an attack, so you can apply it naturally when it does happen.

Even though it may be annoying to practice deep breathing, it can really help to calm down a difficult situation. Never underestimate the power of breathing.

Author's Bio: 

Giri Anantha has experience in panic attacks, panic disorder and agoraphobia. His website is called Panic And Agoraphobia and this article can be found at this URL: