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What To Do When You Get Anxiety At Night

How To Cope With A Panic Attack At Night

ANXIETY Worse at Night – Why?! and What to do when you cant rest at night

Waking up and discovering youre having a panic attack can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and the fact that youre probably still groggy and trying to come round from sleep, can make you feel out of control and cause you to panic even more.

If youre having a nocturnal panic attack, try the following:

Dont fight it

If you wake up and youre having a panic attack, its important not to fight it, as this could make things worse. Accept the panic attack for what it is and let the feelings wash over you. Remember, it is only temporary, and it will fade eventually. You just need to let it happen.

Try and relax

Try to get your body back into a relaxed state. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly to regulate your breathing. Relax your muscles, and try to focus your mind on positive thoughts and images.

Get up and do something

Go back to bed when youre ready

Only go back to bed when youre beginning to feel tired again and ready for sleep. When youre in bed, keep yourself calm by breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, to the extent that your whole abdomen, not just your chest, is rising and falling.

Nighttime Anxiety: What To Do When Your Anxious Mind Wont Let You Sleep

Nighttime Anxiety: What to Do When Your Anxious Mind Wont Let You Sleep

Ive had an anxious mind, ever since I can remember. Long before I even knew what anxiety was, that it was a thing or that Im not the only one who tends to overthink certain things, to a sometimes obsessive degree.

After making a lot of lifestyle changes over the years, I finally began to feel like my anxiety was a thing of the past. Yes, Id still get anxious from time to time, but it was nothing that would keep me up at night. I knew that as long as I take care of myself, keep myself happy by sticking to my routine, my anxiety was under control.

And then, in December, right before Christmas, I suddenly lost my grandmother. For months, before every time I went to sleep, Id beg her to visit me in my dreams, I begged her to let me know that she is okay. All I wanted, was to talk to her one more time, to make sure she knew how much I loved her. Id wake up in the middle of the night, bursting into tears as soon as I remembered that shes gone.

I think that was one of the things that made it so difficult for me to get any sleep during that first couple of weeks: I knew that if I fell asleep, Ill eventually have to wake up. Ill remember what happened, and will feel my heart burst into million pieces, time and time again.

I feel like my life and I, myself, havent been the same since. And so, my anxiety came back.

Aromatherapy And Essential Oils

Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.

Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.

You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.

Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include:

  • Lavender
  • Vetiver

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Stalked By Chronic Nightmares

Chronic nightmares are another troublesome sleep disorder that can cause fear, says Shelby Harris, PsyD, CBSM, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Montefiore Medical Centerâs Sleep-Wake Disorders Center in New York City. Children are especially vulnerable, but adults – especially those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder — experience nightmares, too.

Joni Aldrich, 57, of Winston-Salem, N.C., began to dread sleep after she lost her husband to brain cancer four years ago. After he had a seizure, she had to make the difficult decision to suspend treatment, an experience that traumatized her.

Every night, she had nightmares of him begging her to help him, but she couldnât. She would awaken shaking. Aldrich finally got help from a counselor and began taking an anti-anxiety medication to help her sleep. âI still take the anti-anxiety medication in a very low dose, because I fear the results otherwise,â says Aldrich, CEO of Cancer Lifeline Publications. âEven one of those nightmares wouldn’t be worth it. And, I still go to bed later than I should just to make sure that I’m really tired.â

Habits And Life Changes

Get rid of sleep anxiety and insomnia: Your guide to a ...

Learning to deal with anxiety at night when it arises is useful, but you can also work toward having less bedtime anxiety overall. Research has shown that there are many things you can do to encourage healthy sleep and decrease anxiety during your day. Here are a few things that I have found useful in my work.

Avoid Screens Before Bed

This is one thing you probably already know is bad for you before sleep. Multiple studies have found that screen usage can hurt sleep quality. The blue light of a screen can prevent you from falling asleep and leave you feeling more groggy in the morning. Steer clear of screens for at least an hour before bed. Try reading a book instead, or even listening to music.

Eat Healthy

What you eat during the day can have a dramatic impact on anxiety levels, especially in the evening. There are nutrients that can reduce anxiety, such as zinc, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. Foods high in sugar and trans fats may worsen symptoms of anxiety. Tune into what you eat, and try to turn toward less-processed, more natural foods to help quell feelings of anxiety in the evening.

Leave the Stimulants

Get Up and Move


Relax Before Bedtime

Dont Spend Time in Bed

Create a Sleep Schedule

A healthy sleep routine is incredibly beneficial. Sleeping and eating on a regular schedule can help give the mind and body the consistency it needs. According to Dr. Natalie Dautovich, the National Sleep Foundations Environmental Scholar:

Get Some Sunshine

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How Do You Stop Panic Attacks At Night

Unfortunately, you can’t always stop panic attacks, especially if it’s a nocturnal panic attack that can happen during sleep without warning. However, you can learn to stay relaxed and “talk yourself down” by controlling your breath, practicing positive self-talk, relaxing your muscles, and seeking support from a friend or family member.

Try A Grounding Exercise

If you get back into bed and anxiety is still swirling, it can be helpful to practice a grounding exercise. This involves touching five things, seeing four things, hearing three things, smelling two things and tasting one thing, says Taylor.

By taking your time to do this slowly really feel the fabric or touch of what you feel against your skin and really see what it is in front of you and name it you allow your internal system to regulate itself. You can do this out loud too, if appropriate.

Also Check: Can You Use An Inhaler For Anxiety

Preventing Anxiety At Night

  • 1Stay busy in the evening. Often, the reason why people dont feel anxiety during the day is because they are busy. Work helps keep you distracted from your thoughts and anxieties during the day. At night, you may slow down and do nothing, which can cause you to start thinking about your anxiety. Instead, give yourself projects or tasks in the evening to keep your mind occupied.XResearch source
  • These tasks dont have to be stressful or strenuous. Read a book, wash the dishes, do a load of laundry, crochet, or put together a puzzle. Anything that helps keep your mind focused on something other than your anxiety.
  • Having nothing to do in the evening can lead to you getting lost in your head. This leads to increased anxiety.
  • Get Your Worries On Paper

    Sleep, Anxiety, and Insomnia: How to Sleep Better When You’re Anxious

    Calming an already-stirred up mind can be challenging, so also implement some calming practices before you even get into bed.

    Dr. Whitney Roban, a clinical psychologist and family sleep specialists number one piece of advice for people suffering from night-time anxiety is to keep a journal where you can write down all those clingy thoughts.

    When you get these thoughts out of your head and onto paper, there is a good chance they will not infiltrate your mind when its actually time to go to sleep, Dr. Roban says. Many people also like to make lists in their journal of the things they need to do the next day.

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    Learn From Your Experiences

    If you have a few nights where you were successfully able to manage your nighttime anxieties, remember what you did so you can do it again. Be aware of what works for you when it comes to managing your nighttime anxieties. Write on a piece of paper what you actually did so you can do again the next time you have an anxious night. The key is to learn from your past experiences so you will be able to improve on your situation in the long term.

    Take Stock Of The Day

    Cant stop thinking about work, or something else that happened in the day? Wardle recommends taking stock of the situation: what really happened and what didnt? How is the mind exaggerating? Are things really so bad?

    It might help to make a quick list of whats going on in your head. What are your top three worries? Now, add brief solutions to the issues youve written down. And were talking bite-size, actionable chunks not lengthy paragraph-long conclusions.

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    Leave Some Extra Transition Time

    Transition time is the time that is needed between tasks. Many of us underestimate how much transition time is needed. For instance, your evening may consist of numerous different tasks that you need to do before you go to bed.

    Whatever amount of time you have allotted for each task, consider adding a bit more time as a buffer in case the task takes longer than you think. That way you will avoid feeling overwhelmed, trying to cram too much in before bedtime.

    Tips On How To Handle Your Nighttime Anxiety And Fears

    Habits to get a better night sleep

    Do you have trouble sleeping at night because you have a lot of anxiety? Do you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious on a regular basis?

    If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle with fear and anxiety in the middle of the night. It can be very lonely and depressing to be up all night, pacing around in the dark.

    Dealing with nighttime anxieties can be very difficult because not only are you all worked up, you are also very tired, but are unable to sleep. This can cause a vicious cycle of worry and panic in the middle of the night.

    Here are six tips you can use to manage your nighttime anxieties and get the rest that you need.

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    Visualize The Good Things In Your Life

    The power of your imagination can help get you to a place of ease when youre fretting.

    Visualization of positive events and relationships in your life will help you increase your connection to positive emotions that are also lying around within you, but you have to work at accessing them when the anxious feelings or thoughts have already shown up, says Cummins.

    Calming your body is integral to calming your mind.

    Joy Rains, a certified life coach and the author of “Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind”, recommends a progressive relaxation exercise you can do in bed.

    What Causes Anxiety At Night And How To Deal With It

    Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

    Nighttime anxiety is caused by the same triggers as anxiety during the day. However, the combination of anxiety and trouble sleeping can mimic other conditions and the different setting of night versus day can make you think that its something else. So, what causes nighttime anxiety and what can you do about it? Anxious feelings are the bodys normal alarm-response to psychological or physical threats, real or imagined, and can, therefore, be affect any person. In mild degrees, it is even considered serviceable to the individual.

    What Is Anxiety?

    Anxiety can be triggered by normal stress-inducing events and have distinct symptoms. It can also manifest as generalized anxiety. Some people are just more prone to anxiety than others, based on hereditary factors and temperament. However, most people are familiar with these general anxiety symptoms. Anxiety can make you feel like youre all alone. However, almost twenty percent of the population suffers from anxiety. This means that there is a lot known about how to effectively treat anxiety.

    Anxiety At Night

    Symptoms Of Occasional Anxiety At Night

    Knowing the difference between occasional anxiety and something else can be important for getting the help that you need. While most people with anxiety share some common symptoms, the complete set of symptoms is different for everybody. Below are some common symptoms of occasional anxiety .

    Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders at Night

    Read Also: How To Improve Social Anxiety

    How To Sleep With Anxiety

    No one gets a good night’s sleep every night. But sometimes a restless time in bed can be caused by worry and stress that builds up over time, leading to anxiety at night.

    Night time anxiety can cause you to wake up at an unusually early hour , feel like you haven’t had enough sleep, and then feel pressure to go back to sleep, explains Virginia Runko, PhD, a behavioral sleep medicine specialist and psychologist in Washington, D.C.

    You may toss and turn as your mind dwells on your worries from the day before, then races off thinking about a crisis you can’t control. If you struggle with insomnia and have anxiety, you may have a pattern of waking up unusually early and having trouble getting back to sleep.

    Anxiety can happen at any time of the day, including the morning, afternoon, and at night. Typical symptoms of anxiety can include nervousness, worrying, the inability to focus, as well as trouble falling or staying asleep.

    Sometimes, if you experience anxiety during the night, you may even have a nocturnal panic attack. These panic attacks have the same symptoms as a daytime attack, ranging from heart palpitations to experiencing feelings of extreme fear.

    Here’s everything you need to know about this type of anxiety, why it happens at night, and how to cope with it.

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