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Thread: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    I have anxiety and sometimes get daytime panic attacks but when Iím anxious Iíll wake up during the night by jumping out of my bed and shouting/panicking because it feels like my hearts stopped beating, followed by a major panic attack. I keep scaring my partner half to death with these weird episodes and I have no idea whatís cause them. Has anyone else experienced this? Iím worried maybe itís not anxiety and I have sleep apnea or something, but Iím a 26 y/o female who is slim so I donít really fit the usual criteria.

    Help please! :(

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    2,885

    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    Yes, why not. Panic is a sh1thead and doesnít care whether youíre awake, asleep or canoeing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Aug 2017
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    This is how my anxiety first showed itself when I was a child. It still happens every now and again.


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    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    615

    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    mine for many years were only during the day, then all of a sudden for afew years they only happened while i was asleep, now i get them in a mixture of the 2

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    Very common.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    Thatís a relief to hear this is a common thing. I was worried something might be wrong with my heart. Thanks everyone

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    2,272

    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    oh yes had this so often its scary jump up like your taking your last breath ANXIETY its a bitch and then you can't sleep totally empathise with you xx


    best wishes xx

  8. #8
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    Jan 2016
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    Some of my worst panic attacks were at nighttime. Was really odd. Knock on wood, haven’t had one in a long time. When I did though, I would try to just ride it out and tell myself it wouldn’t last long. Get up, get a drink of water, pull out a book to read, something to put your mind elsewhere.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2016
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    99.9% of my panic attacks happen at night. They can wake me up with 30 minutes of going to sleep or anytime during the early hours. For years I was convinced I had sleep apnoea because I wake up not breathing properly, but I was tested last year and my oxygen levels are fabulous. I have a LOT of anxiety dreams and I think that they are triggering the stress response because the brain cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. It's flared up again after a good period but I'm just doing what I did before - which is to watch what I ingest during the day (body and mind) and to breathe my way calm when it happens. I've also learned that it's better to get up after a panic attack rather than try to go back to sleep with all those stress hormones whirling round my body - all this does is to keep me stuck in a wake/panic cycle. It's better to get up and work off the adrenalin...
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Re: Are nocturnal panic attacks a thing?

    NoraB's comment above sounds similar to mine. Let me expand on my experience.

    I've had nocturnal panic attacks a fair bit. My first one was during my exams at University about 11 years ago. They always happen during stressful periods - this includes after a heavy exercise session too.

    I'll explain what they feel like for me.

    I'll suddenly wake up from a sleep feeling completely lost and disorientated. Part of me is still asleep, the other part awake. I can't move when this happens. It's not sleep paralysis because I don't have the old lady, or other figure, sitting on my chest. But my attacks are similar to sleep paralysis.

    It's hard for me to explain them because there's no real words that can explain them. They're thee most horrific experiences I've ever had; and I've had over 1000 easily in my life time.

    While I'm frozen still I will be full of impending doom. I'm convinced my heart beat will either stop, or burst out of my chest. Sometimes I have a fast heart rate, other times a slow heart rate. The paralysis is almost me scared to move. My body will be tense all over. Internally I'm having a massive panic attack, externally I'm lay on the pillow with my eyes open not moving. To an observer they wouldn't know a thing.

    But to me, it feels like I'm about to die. Like Nora, I thought it was sleep apnea, but it wasn't that.

    Once I snap out of it I spend 5 minutes recovering and usually drop straight off to sleep. Most of the times I wake up and forget it happened. There's been times that I've been unable to sleep and have blogged about them on here right after having one.

    I'm not sure if a nocturnal panic attack feels like this for others, but that's my experience.

    Oh, there was one time that freaked my girlfriend out. I had been working from home and hardly sleeping for 2 days while I was finishing a project. This was about 8 years ago. I eventually fell asleep. But a short time later I shot bolt upright, as white as a ghost, and was staring and the wall. My partner was so freaked out she ran to cuddle me. My heart rate was off the charts. I felt like I'd been hit by a lorry. I jumped up ran to the toilet. My legs felt like lead. I thought "I'm going to die here". Took me a day to recover from that and it sticks in my mind today.

    Another nocturnal panic attack due to heavy stress.

    I avoid all stress these days. It's not healthy.
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    I'm not insane. Everybody else is.

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