It’s not pleasant to wake up because of nightmares, is it? But did you know that there can be some other reasons for your unexpected awakening. Panic attacks happen much more frequently while you’re awake than while you’re asleep, but still they can happen. People, who suffer from panic attacks during sleep, are very scared.
How It Feels?
People with anxiety disorder can’t possibly sleep well. They can’t relax enough because of their compulsive thoughts, that’s why they have difficulty in falling asleep. Then, while they’re asleep, they suffer from nightmares and sleep paralysis. Sometimes such people wake up and can’t understand what happened last night in the real life and what – in their head.
When people have panic attacks in sleep, they get very scared. They wake up in the middle of the night and feel that all their body is squeezed with fear. The following symptoms accompany this sensation:
- Rapid heart beating;
- Feeling hot or cold;
- Squeezing sensation in the middle of the chest;
- High blood pressure;
- Shortness of breath;
- Numbness of legs and feet.
As soon as people wake up because of a panic attack while sleeping, they feel paralyzed. They can’t move because their fear is too strong. A few minutes later they jump out of their beds and walk across their room to and fro, trying to calm down and think what to do next. Some people worry about their health too much and they consider their unpleasant sensation in chest as a signal of a heart attack. They call for a doctor and after that feel much better. The reason for that is the fact that they believe that the doctor will help them, that’s why they’re calm and relaxed.
But such people should learn some methods of self-help. Before a doctor comes to them, they can do something to improve their current state. It’s necessary to stop their panic attacks the minute they’re approaching. Constant panic attacks during sleep can be the reasons for phobias, for example, fears of darkness or death.
What Can You Do?
So what can you do, when you suddenly wake up because a panic attack? First of all, you should do anything possible to calm down and relax. If you worry when you’re surrounded with darkness, you can switch on the light. Do some breathing exercises in order to feel better:
- Put your hands in front of your face and inhale and exhale deeply and long.
- Inhale quickly and exhale slowly. Repeat it 3-4 times.
- Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
- Put your hands onto your stomach. Inhale and exhale slowly and feel your stomach move, rise and fall. Concentrate on those movements and count them.
When you do breathing exercises, you should concentrate on your breathing and forget about anything else, including your fear.
Note!If you can’t get rid of your fear, take some calming medicines, open the window and enjoy some fresh air.
How to Stop Panic Attacks?
- You’ll learn to control your emotions;
- You’ll get relaxed and calm;
- You’ll learn how to feel your own body, you’ll understand its signals;
- You’ll feel better.
Another thing that you can do if you want to improve your sleep – have long walks before you go to bed. Fresh air is very good for your health and for your sleep. You should also stop playing computer games, drink alcohol, talk to anyone, who makes you angry. Instead you can listen some relaxing and beautiful music, take warm baths, have a glass of warm milk with honey. Positive emotions can improve your sleep too. If you fall asleep in good mood, you won’t have nightmares. Don’t take any sleeping pills, because they won’t help you get rid of your nightmares.
If you do anything possible, but still suffer from panic attacks, you should go to a therapist. Don’t try to ignore this problem and don’t hope that your panic attacks will go away themselves. Without a professional help your state will get worse and worse.