Sleep panic attacks


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When you are about to go to bed, the last thing that you will get worried about is experiencing sleep panic attacks

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Sleep panic attacks

  1. 1. Sleep Panic Attacks – Causes and Treatments
  2. 2. Sleep Panic Attacks – Causes and Treatments When you are about to go to bed, the last thing that you will get worried about is experiencing sleep panic attacks. After all, you focus will be more on getting enough rest to live for the next day. As a matter of fact, about 70% of people who are suffering from anxiety disorders might also suffer from attacks during their sleep. Understanding Sleep Panic Attacks Medical researches have shown that these attacks happen in the early stages of sleeping. They are not caused by dreams. In addition, this condition is far worse than insomnia since patients suffering from this condition wake up in fear, sweating, palpitations and shortness of breath. This is also different from sleep apnea since the latter is not associated anxiety yet it is indirectly linked with sleep panic attacks. This is because sleep apnea affects blood pressure and heart rate. The main reason for these panic attacks is still unknown. However, experts suspect carbon dioxide build-up in the body might be one of the major causes. This is also known as the false suffocation alarm which triggers the body to respond through rapid heartbeat rate and strenuous breathing. Other factors include alcohol, drugs, lifestyle, stress and depression.
  3. 3. The patient usually wakes up confused, anxious and disoriented on what’s happening, which elevates the panic attack. Even when we sleep, the mind continues to work. When a person has a stressful life and they fail to let go of the entire burden before sleeping, thus, the body reacts this way during sleep. Possible Health Risks of Sleep Panic Attacks Anxiety attacks happening during sleep can pose health concerns which are as follows: •Insomnia – Patients become more fearful once they wake up. What makes it worse is the thought that the attacks will recur when they go back to sleep. If this is left untreated, it can lead to chronic insomnia. •More frequent attacks – Lack of sleep and rest will most likely cause more anxiety attacks during sleep as well as during the day. •Loss of energy – Sleepless nights will make one more tired during the day since the body loses enough rest. More problems will also follow such as emotional instability, weight loss/gain and lack of confidence. Treatment for Sleep Panic Attacks There are several ways to treat this problem. The two major ways to go about it is by going under medications and cognitive behavior therapies.
  4. 4. •Medications – This includes taking medicines such as sleeping pills and anti-depressants. However, one should consult with the doctor first before taking these. One should not self-medicate to avoid side effects such as appetite loss, dry mouth and headache. More adverse effects include heart attack, addiction and death if not taken properly. •Cognitive Behavior Therapy – This works in treating sleep panic attacks by seeing a specialist who will help the patient see things in a different way. The therapy is effective in helping the patient relax and get peaceful sleep. This treatment have six stages which include biofeedback, cognitive control and psychotherapy, relaxation training, remaining passively awake, sleep hygiene, sleep control and stimulus control.