Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Nocturnal panic attacks refer to panic attacks that occur at night during the sleep. Such attacks disrupt sleep and can wake up a person for no obvious reason. Panic attacks are always frightening even if they occur at daytime. Duringa normal day time panic attack, a person may feel experience fearfulness, nervousness and anxiety. However, nocturnal panic attacks are much more daunting as one can never predict the occurrence of such an attack during sleep.

During a Nocturnal panic attack deep sweating also occurs. Patients also fear about something horrible that could happen to them. There have been extensive researches that have been conducted on Nocturnal panic attacks and it is a panic disorder that can be cured.

Causes of Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Nocturnal panic attacks can be prompted by different situations and reasons. One reason for such attacks is the fear of the attacks itself. Patients going through these conditions have intense fear of panic attacks which causes these attacks to agitation even in their sleep. It can even cause people to not sleep at all during the night just for the fear that it may happen again.

‘Acid reflux disease’ scientifically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is another source of such panic attacks. People suffering from breathing problems and chest pains can wake frequently wake up during night time.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a major cause of Nocturnal Panic attacks. A person’s airway is blocked and they sleep without breathing for as many as 30 seconds. A panic attack normally occurs when a person wakes up gasping for breath but as soon as the air flow in the lungs is restored these attacks fade away.

Nightmares are also a common reason for Nocturnal panic attacks. While having a bad dream a person can go through intense fear and anxiety which causes them to wake up from the sleep instantly. In such conditions, a person may also fear the existence of events in the dream in reality.

Symptoms of Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Nocturnal panic attacks are sudden and discomforting. During such episodes, the body goes through obvious changes. Some major symptoms of Nocturnal panic attacks are mentioned below:

  • Breathlessness or gasping
  • Intense heart rate
  • Fainting, dizziness and nervousness
  • Fear of horrible happenings
  • Death fright
  • Deep sweating
  • Chills


Treatment for Nocturnal Panic Attacks

Scientific research has made it possible to treat Nocturnal Panic attack. Doctors and therapists suggest different physical activities and medications to reduce and eliminate this panic disorder. Some of the treatments are as follows:

  • For someone who has had their first nocturnal panic attack, it is important not to think of it again. Fearing such attacks actually ignites the occurrence of these events.
  • Weight loss and fat reduction is also a solution for panic attacks as it minimizes the risk of acid reflux while sleeping. Exercising and walking can help reduce weight considerably.
  • In sever conditions of acid reflux, acid treatment medications are instrumental. Consulting a doctor is the best option in such cases.

Nocturnal Panic attacks are more common in people who suffer from weight issues, breathing problems and anxiety. Different medications are available to counter the disorder.