Nocturnal panic attacks are the episodes that happen at night. Sometimes when we are deep asleep, we may wake up with a sudden feeling of physical uneasiness and strong and overwhelming emotions. These panic attacks are similar to the type of panic attacks that we have in the day, only nocturnal ones wake us up from sleep. “Have you ever woken up in the middle of a deep sleep and experienced a panic attack? There is a reason for this,” wrote Therapist Alison Seponara. She further added that nocturnal panic attacks do not hurt us physically but can make us feel completely out of control.
Some of the symptoms of nocturnal panic attacks are waking us up suddenly from sleep and causing sleep deprivation. It also makes us have the feeling of impending doom and confusion. Dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, trembling and hot flashes are some of the symptoms of nocturnal panic attacks.
The Therapist further shared a few tips on how we can manage nocturnal panic attacks:
Don’t fight it: One of the ways to manage nocturnal panic attacks is by not fighting it. Instead knowing that it is temporary and letting it happen, with all the emotions washing over us.
Breathe: Deep breathing helps in controlling panic attacks. We should ensure that the exhalation is longer than the inhalation. This helps relax the muscles and focuses the mind on positive thoughts.
Get up and do something: instead of being in bed, we should get up and splash cold water on face or read a book or get some fresh air. This helps in taking the mind off the panic attack and feeling positive and refreshed.
Go back to bed when you are ready: When we feel a little better, we should hit the bed and try to get some sleep. Nocturnal panic attacks often cause sleep deprivation, and hence, it is important to make conscious efforts to get some sleep.