Monday, April 5, 2010

Problem Sleeping. Are You Having Panic Attacks In Your Sleep?:

For lots of people getting a good night's sleep is not only difficult but impossible. This is not just irritating but can affect you both mentally and physically in negative ways. Just having one night without sleep is bad for you, but this may become a chronic problem.

When people go to seek medical help for this problem three of the most common complaints, is daytime drowsiness, insomnia, and sleep behavior that is irregular. Estimates show that around 25% of people suffer from insomnia.

It is more prevalent in cases of the elderly, people who have third shifts or changing schedules, and women. Mental disorders like depression can even cause insomnia or worsen it. People who have problems with anxiety or mental disorders can actually suffer from panic attacks in their sleep.

An attack in your sleep can be a very unsettling experience in which you can be victim to chest pain, being short of breath, being dizzy or lightheaded, nausea, pounding and racing heartbeats, chills, and an intense fear of foreboding or death. Panic attacks can cause many people to rush to the emergency room.

Over half of the people that have a panic disorder suffer from attacks in their sleep. Around 10% of panic attacks that happen are in fact sleep panic attacks. Being afraid of having more attacks in their sleep can actually worsen many people's insomnia.

Sleep attacks have sometimes been misunderstood as very bad nightmares. This is not the case at all. Recent studies have shown that attacks during sleep come about in the early stages of a person's sleep and not in the deep REM stages of sleep where dreams take place. Attacks usually last for about ten minutes, but it can take you a lot longer to calm down from one.

Many things can cause a person to have attacks in their sleep. Both depression and anxiety disorders that run in families can cause them. Physical illness or injury, drug use, and stress can worsen attacks in your sleep and how severe they are.

Sleep apnea can contribute to this as the heart increases its rate, your breath shortening, and waking suddenly can trigger the body and minds danger response resulting in an attack while sleeping. Nevertheless, the main cause for attacks in your sleep is unknown.

The usual methods of treatment for panic attacks while sleeping are that of other panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Treatments like counseling, stress management, as well as medication are prescribed. Furthermore, if you do suffer from these attacks you should try some of the alternative treatments available.

Of course if you try them and they do not work you will need to see your doctor so a method of treatment can be prescribed to you for your sleep disorder, maybe even a referral to a psychologist is what your doctor will prescribe you depending on what he or she would think works best for your scenario.

You can help yourself reduce the risk of sleep panic attacks by avoiding foods or beverages that worsen your sleep quality like caffeine and alcohol. Exercising can help with anxiety and depression and can reduce the risk of sleep panic attacks.

Aerobic and yoga are great for this since they encourage relaxation and deep breathing. All of these methods done correctly and overtime have been proven to help fight against sleep panic attacks.

For more information from Edward Michaels on sleeping panic attacks and additional articles on dealing with anxiety and panic attacks please visit our website at

About the Author

Edward Michaels has spent a large part of his life dealing with panic attacks and learning how to cope with them. His website at: http// is where he posts other articles and information that you will find very helpful in beating panic attacks and reclaiming your life.

I found the article above while I was trying to do some research on my ailments, and this one just hopped out at me. 

Yes, I do have panic attacks.  I didn't know for a long time what was happening to me.  Sometimes I simply thought I was going nuts.  After all........I've been suffering from those accursed menopausal symptoms for over 10 years now.  That alone is enough to drive a woman nuts!

I don't drink alcohol, but I know that I sometimes drink too much coffee and not enough water.  Too much soda pop in the summer months.  But my biggest problem.....and I know this deep down inside, is my depression over how bad my life has gotten simply because I made some bad choices in the last few years. I am constantly beating myself up over it.  Why?  Why did I do it?

There are sooo many IF's in my head.  If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be going through this.....and so on, and so on. 

All I know is.............somethings gotta give pretty soon.....or I really will go nuts!


  1. Hi! Paul here (via Real bloggers united) you have a very engaging and honest style - I suffered with panic attacks a few years back so I know from experience how frightening they can be - I've actually posted an entry on my blog "Panic attacks don't suffer in silence" if you want to take a look sometime - look forward to reading more of your work in the coming weeks and months

  2. Hello Paul, I do so appreciate your taking the time to read a little of my blog sir.

    Yes, that is a good word for them, "Frightening", for sure! I'll have to go look at this entry on your blog. I try NEVER to suffer in silence anymore, I used to keep it all bottled up inside me. I've always known that it wasn't good for my health, but since I will be 61 this coming July, I decided it was time to put a voice to my suffering. How is the weather in the UK sir?? It has been pretty nice hear, NOT that I've gotten to enjoy it much the last few days, LOL! It would seem that I have managed to acquire an infection at the root of my eye-teeth, or tooth. OUCH! I hope you never have one is VERY painful! Anyway, thanks again for your kind words, I love to hear from folks. Yeah, I'm a southern gal! :o)