How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Before Bed: Experience Panic Attacks While Sleeping

There are millions of people who suffer from panic attacks. Often these attacks seeming come from nowhere and suddenly they are full blown, leaving you anxious and miserable. Panic attacks while sleeping are some of the worst because the interrupt your ability to get a decent night's sleep.

Panic attacks while sleeping seem to be unfounded. For people who suffer from them they may wonder what caused a panic attack to happen when your body is at rest. The truth may actually be easier to find than one might think. Panic attacks while sleeping are often caused by stress that we have experienced throughout the day. Often people will wake up at night while having a panic attack that is the result of a dramatic change that has happened in their life.

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Some people may experience panic attacks while sleeping after they have lost a loved one. The stress that one goes through during the grieving process can often cause panic attacks while sleeping. During the waking hours you may have trouble dealing with your grief while also having to deal with the everyday stress of life. Often this will cause the body to do into overload and symptoms will come out during the sleeping hours.

Another possible cause of panic attacks while sleeping is a change in your life such as a move or job change. You may not even realize you are under stress about these changes until they manifest themselves during the night.

Most people who suffer from panic attacks while sleeping will be able to pinpoint the cause. When you are awakened by an attack you can try to focus on the reason for the attack. If there are any significant changes going on in your life you will be able to determine what they are. It is rare that someone experiences panic attacks while sleeping without knowing the root cause.

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If you awaken with one of these attacks there are some things you can do to help your situation. Try to do some deep breathing exercises that will help you relax. To do this you can inhale slowly through your nose and hold it for a count of five. Then you can exhale slowly the same way to the count of five. Keep repeating this process until you feel the tension leaving your body. While doing these exercises try to focus on something relaxing, such as a waterfall or a gently rain.

Some people benefit from placing a small waterfall in their bedroom that they can turn on at night. The sound of water is soothing and will often help you to relax. Also, the scent of lavender has been known to soothe the soul and help people relax and fall asleep. Try putting scents of lavender in your bedroom that will allow you to smell it all night. Plug-ins are often a good way to do this.

The important factor in dealing with panic attacks while sleeping is to understand the cause of the attack. Once you determine the cause you can work on the solution. The solution will allow you to get the sleep you need to face a busy day and live a normal life.

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More and more people with anxiety are looking for natural ways to eliminate anxiety attacks. And there are a number of things you can do to stop anxiety / panic attacks, and, prevent them happening again.

The first thing is to realize that an anxiety or panic attack cannot harm you. This is a medical fact. During an attack, all you're experiencing are the 'symptoms' of your body's response to what it 'perceives' as a threat.

You see, your body is hard-wired to react in this way, and, it was particularly useful to our ancestors. The body's natural 'fight or flight' response allowed them to either fight to the very best of their ability, or, to run away from danger as fast as they could.

So where does your body get the idea that there is danger when no such danger exists? It can happen when a person with already high anxiety levels is faced with a stressful event, like sitting an exam for example. This additional stress pushes the total anxiety level so high that the body reads this as if you're in danger, and triggers the fight or flight response.

The symptoms you experience during an anxiety attack, such as nausea, dizziness, hot and cold flashes, tight chest, racing heart, tingling in your extremities, detachment and a feeling of impending doom, are the results of your body's preparing you to run or fight.

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But you know there isn't any physical danger, so you don't understand why you feel these symptoms. The only explanation you have at the time is that you're suffering something serious and unexpected, such as a heart attack.

So, during an attack, first remember that it cannot harm you. Then try to relax by breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Not too deeply, and not fast, as this can make things worse. By slow, rhythmic breathing, you want to re-establish your oxygen and carbon dioxide balance.

Focus outwards as much as possible, by studying buildings, people, trees, etc. round about you. Try not to analyze your symptoms as this will make your fear even worse. Focus outwards, not inwards.

So how to prevent future anxiety attacks? There are many things you can and should do. Obviously, you should be seeking professional help for one. You might find that drugs work for you whilst you take them. And things like counselling, etc. can help too.

But, whichever treatment or combination of treatments you use, there is one thing that you have to get rid of. And that critical issue is your underlying 'fear' of having another attack. Your very fear of another anxiety attack can actually trigger one. So you have to break this vicious cycle of fear and anxiety.

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There are many symptoms associated with a panic attack. And different sufferers will experience different ones. Here, you'll find what the symptoms of a panic attack are, plus, 3 simple ways to help control your attack.

Typical symptoms are; trembling, hot and cold flashes, tightness across the chest or throat, tingling in the extremities, racing heart, irregular shallow breathing, lightheaded, dizziness, choking sensation, a feeling of detachment from reality, a fear of impending doom, etc.

Now, as you can see, many of these symptoms could be signs of other conditions or problems such as heart attack, etc. It is a horrible, terrifying experience, I know. So at the first sign of any of these always get professional medical help to be on the safe side.

But just how do panic attacks actually happen? Unbelievable as it may seem, the symptoms of a panic attack are actually the result of, what is termed, your body's 'fight or flight' response. This is a natural in-built response to a perceived threat to itself. It goes way back in the mists of time where it was used to help our ancestors to either fight or run away from danger.

During this very rapid response, chemicals are released in the brain that makes significant changes to how your mind and body works. For example your vision and hearing are enhanced and your muscles are primed for strength and speed. It is these rapid physical and mental changes that give rise to the symptoms you experience during a panic attack.

You can help control panic (anxiety) attacks through the use of drugs, but more and more sufferers are turning to natural remedies because of their bad side effects which include dependency issues. And, there is a body of opinion that many anti-anxiety drugs (e.g. antidepressants) don't work all that well in any case.

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So here are 3 ways to help control your panic attacks:-

1 - Always remember that a panic attack is just the result of an irrational fear that cannot do you any harm, and, it will pass. How quickly depends on your positive attitude during the attack, but particularly at its onset.

2 - At the sign of the first symptoms, prepare to meet the attack head-on by reciting in your mind that you recognize the signs and that you know that they cannot harm you. Some people have even said that by trying to bring it on themselves they seem to be able to reduce its effects dramatically.

3 - During an attack your oxygen and carbon dioxide ratio is out balance. The quicker you can sort this the better. You can do this by controlling your breathing by breathing slowly and rhythmically; not shallow and not too deeply. A very effective way to re-balance oxygen and carbon dioxide is to breath into and out of a paper bag that covers your nose and mouth.

Now, whilst these can be very effective during an actual panic attack, your real objective needs to be to prevent panic attacks from recurring and getting worse each time. And you do this by getting rid of your conscious or subconscious fear of having an attack.

Your very fear of an attack is a very powerful element in actually triggering one. This is because your fear adds to your already high general anxiety so much that it it can trigger your body's fight or flight response, resulting in you having a panic attack. You need to breakout of this cycle of anxiety, fear and anxiety attack in order to eliminate your panic attacks for good.

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Whatever state of mind anyone is in at any particular time is determined, to a large extent, by what he or she is thinking about. Our fears can only be effective if we are imagining the things we fear as being realized. Generally speaking, we don't fear things we have already experienced; we only fear things we dread may happen. There are exceptions to this rule but usually we fear the unknown most.

In other words, the outcome of a particular situation may sadden us, but prior to this outcome we can only be hurt by fearing it. So, when we fear what do not know will happen or what we do not know has happened, we essentially use fear as means to prevent sadness. Of course, this doesn't work.

Using Pleasant Thoughts

On the other hand, convincing one's self the desired outcome is about to happen at least, postpones fear, worry and sadness, while visualizing the worst outcome makes one experience these negative feelings unnecessarily.

In real world situations, the things we fear most are rarely realized. So, our fear of them does two things.

1. It encourages us to use fear and worry to fend off things we actually have no control over and,

2. It makes us live a good part of our lives unhappily when there is no need to.

The Philosophy of the Ages

New age thinking tells us negative thinking brings about those things we are fearful of. The Bible tells us to "trust in the Lord you shall be free." Zen teaches us to only live in the moment and to essentially not think on a conscious level at all. Using a little reflection on these philosophies makes us realize they are all saying about the same thing.

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In his 50's psychology classic, "Psycho-Cybernetics," Dr. Maxwell Maltz teaches us how to worry positively by using thoughts such as: "I could make that sale and become top sales-person of the year. Things like that do happen. Somebody is going to win the award. It could be me as well as it could be anybody else!" In short, this positive worrying is done by simply by dwelling on great possible outcomes instead of awful ones.

Fear - Panic's Seed

The bottom line is without fear, panic attacks cannot develop. Constantly dwelling on things that please you will stop fear from taking hold your thought process. People who master this way of living will:

1. Live a good part of their lives happily, at least, as happily as possible and,

2. Sadness will only result if a sad event occurs; it will never happen unnecessarily.

When you ponder this, you can see how it is possible to go years without being unhappy if you do not anticipate terrible outcomes to future events. On the other hand, you can see that many people are unhappy all their lives simply because they constantly fear something they dread will happen.

Yes, it is easier said than done, but like anything else, dwelling on desired outcomes is a habit than can be developed with practice. The result of developing this habit will be a life which is happier than one where negative thinking rules the day and a life where there will be very little chance of panic attack or anxiety setting in.

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