What You Need To Know About Nocturnal Panic Attacks

There are many people who suffer from a variety of sleep disorders. When most people think of a sleep disorder, they think of insomnia or sleep apnea. Although these are some of the more common sleep disorders, there are other disorders that can be just as disruptive. Nocturnal panic attacks are one of these. Here are some things you need to know about these panic attacks.

What Are Nocturnal Panic Attacks?

Nocturnal panic attacks are attacks that happen in the night without your control. Say you are sleeping peacefully and then all of the sudden you wake with a racing heart, labored breathing, and a sense of doom and panic. In some cases, you might remember what the attack was about, perhaps a scary dream or thought, or you might be confused and have no idea why you are feeling this way.

The severity and the frequency of these panic attacks might influence your ability to work through them. If they happen often, you might have learned how to self soothe and breathe through them so that you can fall asleep right away. In other cases, they might be so concerning that you cannot go back to sleep, and you need to get out of bed, walk around the house or do something to take your mind off the panic.

What Causes Nocturnal Panic Attacks?

It is unclear exactly what causes these attacks. For some people, they suffer from panic attacks during the day, and the night is simply a continuation. In this case, the cause would be an anxiety disorder. For other people, though, they might not have anxiety present during the day, only at night time. In this case, it may not be a general anxiety disorder that is causing the problem. Instead, it could be a problem with their sleep patterns and is an actual sleep disorder.

What Is the Treatment?

When you see a specialist about the problem, they will first look at a couple different things. First, if it is determined that you have anxiety, they will prescribe an anti-anxiety medication that will hopefully control the panic attacks in both the day and the night. Second, if it is a sleep disorder, they might give you a stronger sleep aid that can help you to sleep throughout the night without interruption, so that, even if you do have a disturbance in the night, you are able to sleep through it and avoid the full panic attack.

If any anytime you are concerned about nocturnal panic attack, talk to a specialist about your options. Contact a company like Billings Clinic for more information.