Sleep Panic Attacks – Anxiety?
What comes first – sleep panic attacks or sleep problems with stress or anxiety at their root. Whilst this blog focusses on panic attacks, it is worth considering how frequently stress triggers sleep problems in general.
For example, you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, all the while you are up your mind is racing, filled with “what if” thinking. Just in the few minutes that it takes for you to walk to the bathroom you may have already had as many as ten different thoughts.
As you climb back into bed, the thinking has filled your head so much that you can not fall back to sleep again. As you lay there wondering and worrying about things that are likely not even in your control, you watch the minutes that turn into hours just tick away. If this sounds like you, then you are suffering from insomnia that is likely caused from anxiety.
Research has found a very strong link between insomnia and anxiety as when a person suffers from one it is likely that they will suffer from both. As you are lying in bed, filled with anxiety, this will actually build up causing your brain to become even more active, which makes it even more impossible to sleep. This condition would not be defined as something that happens occasionally but rather frequently. Sometimes doing something as simple as turning the TV on in your room with a low volume but so you can still hear it and putting on something that is funny will really help. You will eventually fall asleep and what you are hearing on the TV will divert your thoughts.
Stress related insomnia falls under a few different categories such as transient insomnia which is usually associated with situational stress. In other words, perhaps you have an upcoming job, a presentation, an exam, or a move.
Short term insomnia lasts for six months or less that are generally related to a death, an illness, or maybe environmental factors. Finally, there is chronic insomnia which can be contributed to a variety of factors that may require a medical or psychological evaluation to determine the exact cause.
There can be many stages of insomnia which can range from short term to long term insomnia. Insomnia can then increase anxiety which can lead to many other conditions later on. The mere frustration of sleep deprivation alone can manifest into many other serious conditions.
Do you find yourself finding at least one particular event to dwell on and by nighttime that thought or thoughts have completely taken over your train of thought? When this happens it could be that your mind is racing so quickly thinking of what you will do, what you could have done differently, what you could say if given another chance, and so on. These things will prohibit sleep faster than anything will.
Untreated this can easily lead to panic disorder which is why you should be seen by a doctor right away and remember that there are so many new and very friendly medications available today to treat anxiety; you will be so grateful that you went. If you have anxiety related insomnia there is no reason to suffer with it for another day because there is help available.