How To Stop Anxiety Attacks At Night: Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Have you ever heard the phrase "nocturnal panic attacks" before?

Probably not.

I know that I hadn't, even though I'd lived with severe panic and anxiety for over 17 years.

But even though I wasn't familiar with the term "nocturnal panic attacks," I definitely was suffering from them.

A nocturnal panic attack is simply any panic attack that occurs while you're in bed trying to fall asleep, that wakes you from your sleep during the night, or that strikes shortly after you wake in the morning.

They're usually extremely intense, and may be considerably stronger than your other panic attacks. This was the case for me, certainly. Some of the worst attacks of my life came while I was in bed, either while I was asleep, or while I was lying there awake.

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No one knows why these night time attacks are so unbearable.

But there are some great tips you can start following to reduce your risk of experiencing them in the future.

First of all, don't do anything stimulating for an hour or so before bed. This includes things like watching TV, exercising, listening to loud music, and any arguing or friction with anyone else.

Also, avoid food and drinks that are stimulants. Sugary drinks, coffee, etc.

The other thing you can do is to listen to relaxation CDs for 5 or 10 minutes before you try to sleep. This sets your mind at ease and you're far less likely to have any problems during the night if you make this a habit.

Nocturnal panic attacks are horrible, but if you focus on making your sleeping experience a calm one, they'll soon be a thing of the past.

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New research tells us that 1 in 75 people around the world will have at least one panic attack in their lifetime. That's a lot of people! So if you're suffering terrifying panic attacks then you're not alone by any means. They can occur anytime, anywhere, and, without warning, which makes them all the more frightening.

Because they can be truly horrendous experiences for lots of sufferers, many people shy away from areas or people that they feel might cause them to have an attack. The result is that they live unfulfilled lives, always living in a state of fear. Apart from quality life issues, life chances are also impaired.

Although many people will only have one isolated panic attack in their lifetime, many more folks will have multiple attacks. When this happens they are said to have a panic disorder. If this goes on unchecked this can have a big impact, not only in their quality of life, but on their overall well-being. So it's important to address it as quickly as possible, so as not to ruin your life.

At the first signs of a panic attack you need to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis. This is vital because several of the symptoms of a panic attack are very similar to other problems such as heart attack, etc. But we'll continue in this article with the notion that you have been correctly diagnosed with a panic disorder...

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Your doctor will usually prescribe things like antidepressants and tranquilizers to help you. And they can for many, but they do have some pretty dodgy side effects including dependency. And they are working on just adjusting your mood and calming you down. They don't necessarily address the real issue which is your underlying conscious or unconscious fear of having your next attack. And, they can be expensive over the long term.

But there are natural home remedies, without the severe side effects, that can do much the same as the drug-based medications. And it should be no surprise to learn that these are things like homeopathic and herbal remedies, which many anxiety / panic attack sufferers are finding to be pretty effective in terms of controlling mood and stress / anxiety. Of course, there are other things that you can do to help your situation like making some changes to your diet and lifestyle. And there are others like self-help groups and counselling.

However, we can't escape from the single truth that your core fear of having another panic attack is holding back your actual cure. Everything else you do are just coping or managing mechanisms. The problem is that your fear intensifies with every panic attack to the extent that your fear alone can actually trigger one! As you can see this is a vicious cycle of anxiety and panic. Unless you can break this cycle, it will be very difficult to obtain complete relief.

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Panic attacks are frightening experiences that can happen unexpectedly, for no apparent reason. So when they happen, you want to stop them dead in their tracks. But this is easier said than done when you're in the middle of one, unless you know the steps to take. Here, you'll get 3 key steps to take to stop your panic attacks, or at the very least, lessen their intensity and shorten their length.

Stop, hang on a minute, just what are panic attacks and what causes them?...

Now I know this may be hard to believe, but they are a result of your body's defense mechanism making a mistake. We all have a primeval survival mechanism in us that gives us the best chance of survival when we're in physical danger. When the body 'perceives' you're in danger it triggers a reaction we call it's 'fight or flight' response. By rapidly affecting chemical changes in your body, your defence mechanism is setting you up to either fight to the best of your ability or run away from the danger as fast as you can.

But what has this to do with my panic attacks?...

Well, when you're anxiety levels are particularly high, all it takes is for an additional stressful event or situation, e.g. shopping in a busy supermarket, driving in heavy traffic, sitting an exam, etc., to push your total anxiety to such a level that your defences mistake your elevated anxiety as a signal that you're in danger, so triggers it's response, resulting in a panic attack.

The symptoms you experience during an attack, e.g. shortness of breath, choking sensation, tightness across your chest, nausea, trembling, dizziness, racing heartbeat, etc., are just the result of the changes happening in your body. You aren't having a heart attack, or stroke, or anything bad at all. They're just the symptoms of a mistake made by your own body. It's a medical fact that a panic attack cannot harm you.

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And that key fact is the first step in stopping your attack, or at least reducing it's effects significantly. For the purposes of this article, the assumption is that you have already been diagnosed with at least one panic attack. So at the onset of the symptoms (which you'll now recognize) remember this golden nugget; they cannot harm you, you aren't going to die.

Now this puts you in a positive frame of mind for the next step, which is to start to get your hyperventilation (rapid shallow breathing) under control. This is important because you need to get your oxygen / carbon dioxide ratio back in balance. Breath slowly, deeply and rhythmically in through your nose and out through your mouth. Don't just use chest breathing though, you must also use your diaphragm to use all of your lung capacity.

The third step is to start to focus intently on things around you, such as buildings, trees, people, etc. Anything to stop you analyzing your symptoms. Analysing your symptoms is like a vicious cycle that just makes them seem more severe. So stop that and look and think outwardly, not inwardly.

Of course this is what you do during a panic attack, but what about stopping them from happening in the first place?...

Now here's the thing... once having had a panic attack you never want a repeat performance because the symptoms are just so terrifying, right.? So you have an in-built fear of having that other attack. You may be aware of this fear, or, it could be in your subconscious. But the consequences are the same; this fear stays with you.

The problem is that this fear is so strong that it can actually trigger another attack! But every time you have an attack the fear is their again, perhaps even worse. So it can bring on another attack, anytime, any place, and without warning. Eliminating that fear is the key to stopping panic attacks forever.

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Preventing panic attacks is nearly impossible without understanding the elements that compose them. On the other hand, knowing what they're made of takes the sting out of them. Explaining them by using common life examples instead of medical terminology makes them easy to understand. In this article, we will discuss in everyday terms what makes a panic attack develop and this in itself will make them unlikely to occur.

Reverse Psychology

Everyone understands the theory behind reverse psychology. A girl who plays hard to get often becomes more attractive to the guy she wants to date. If this girl were to throw herself all over the guy, he would be liable to run away and hide from her. However, when she acts indifferent and pretends she doesn't know he exists, he is likely to pursue her to the end of the earth.

Trying Too Hard

Along the same lines is the amateur golfer who tries too hard. He wants so badly to score well on just one hole, he tightens up and every time he swings at the ball it becomes a disaster. However, once he gives up, and perhaps has a drink, his mind wanders far away from the game altogether. This is when he finally pars a hole.

This is somewhat how it is with panic attacks. Panic attack thrives on people who are trying with all their might to prevent them. These attacks are so scary and so unwelcome it is no wonder anyone tightens up at the very thought one may be approaching.

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Being Indifferent To Panic

However, when one learns how to become indifferent to panic attacks, they no longer have one of the key elements they need to flourish. This key element is fear. Simply put, when a person loses his or her fear of them, they lose their main ingredient. It is like starving a fire of oxygen. If you do this, the fire goes out. Likewise, if you starve panic of your fear, its fire will go out.

It is hard to become fond of panic attacks and fearing them is normal. So, it takes expert reverse psychology to learn how to totally accept panic and all it brings. Still, learning how to do this is most important when you are trying to prevent panic attacks from invading your life.

To go even further, you can prevent panic from ever happening if you go out looking for it and at the first sight of one try as hard as you can to make it be as bad as it can be. This probably sounds way out of the norm. However, it is just like that girl who throws herself all over the guy; if you do the same to a panic attack, just like the guy this girl is chasing; it will go away and hide from you.

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If you are willing to make just a few simple changes in your daily routine, you can stop your panic attacks and enjoy your daily activities again, both alone and with your friends and family. To learn how you can stop your symptoms in a couple of steps and then prevent them from ever appearing again- Click Here

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