Calming night time Anxiety Attacks

15th Jun 2022 Off By Marketing

Night time is supposed to be a time of relaxation, a time to mentally unwind and prepare ourselves for sleep. However, it’s quite common to experience anxiety attacks at night.

Those suffering from anxiety attacks at night, tend to get an anxious rush just before dropping off to sleep, or could be woken with a jolt in the middle of the night.

These attacks can be quite frightening at the best of times but when they happen unexpectedly, especially at night, they can be particularly hard to endure.

Causes

We don’t just get anxiety or panic attacks in the day but this can happen at night time too, it is a result from the ‘fight or flight’ instinct being triggered by a perceived aggressor. Aggressors are likely mental angst resulting from stress and worries.

During our busy daily life all our anxieties tend to recede into the background, but come night time it rears their monstrous heads when all distractions disappear. In the quiet of the night when there is no running away our anxieties build up and that sometimes results into an anxiety attack.

As you know the brain does not fully switch off when we are asleep, it tries to naturally process the day’s events. So, if you’ve had a bad or stressful day it may come through in your dreams and that can provoke anxiety.

If you feel that you are not going to get a good night’s sleep, try and follow some of the tips below to switch off and give your brain a rest.

 

Prevention

With the help of sensible tools and techniques you can learn how to rationally identify and accept an anxiety attack, allow the fear to pass and diminish the severity and frequency of it.

 

Breathe

Fighting a night time panic attack will make it worse, try and slow down, breathe deeply and relax your muscles. Focus on your breathing will help calm that stress response so that you can gain back some control over the situation.

Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, when you breathe correctly, your abdomen, not just your chest will be rising on an in-breath and falling on an out-breath.

Reading up on breathing exercises to help you sleep will prepare you for the next time you have an anxiety or panic attack.

Calming Activity

During and after a panic attack your body will be pumping adrenaline, and the best thing to do to calm this response, is to get up and do something.

Try simple activities like reading, gentle yoga, colouring in, some stretching, knitting or just get up and make a cup of herbal tea. By giving your mind something else to focus on will help to burn off the adrenaline.

Positive Images

It is important to try and think positive things during a panic attack, like your favourite songs, foods or animals, else grab a note book and write down all the things you love.

Senses

Focus your attention to what’s around you, taste may also offer a distraction, so brew some Chamomile Tea, after all, it’s known to have relaxing properties.

Herbal Remedies

Don’t just go straight for the conventional sleeping tablets or anti-anxiety medications to counter the effects of nocturnal anxiety attacks. It is best to try and control the symptoms naturally as it will be more effective, long-lasting, and with the fewest side effects.

Avena sativa, known as oats, has been traditionally used in relieving mild stress and anxiety. Fresh extracts of this herb are available in oral drops.

St John’s Wort is another option to help with slightly low mood and mild anxiety. Consult a doctor or the information leaflet before taking this as there are many medications that this particular remedy cannot be taken alongside.

Sleep Routine

Having a night time routine to improve sleep quality may reduce the likelihood of experiencing anxieties during night time hours.

Try and go to bed the same time each night and get up at the same time every morning. Ensure that you get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant and makes us feel alert and jittery at times. If you are prone to anxiety, you don’t want to add this to the situation.

Because caffeine can remain in our system for a very long time, you don’t want to consume any in the afternoon. Rather switch to caffeine-free teas.

Technology

The blue light that technology emits can trick the brain into thinking it is day time and in turn interfere with our ability to drift off to sleep and can add fuel to your nightly anxiety attacks.

Switch it all off at least an hour before bed to give your brain time to unwind before sleep. Have a bubble bath or hot shower, it will help you feel more relaxed.

Plan Ahead

If your anxieties at night are fueled by what’s happening tomorrow, then it’s best to plan ahead. Make a to do list or draft a schedule, pre-make your lunch, set out your clothes or start a journal about your stresses and concerns.

 

Anxiety attacks can be frightening and overwhelming. To avoid this becoming a persistent problem, try and create a positive routine around bedtime.

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