Do you get anxiety attacks while sleeping?

 Do you get anxiety attacks while sleeping? 

Do you get anxiety attacks while sleeping?

Anxiety can come alive at night and it can be a vicious cycle.
Not only can anxious thoughts lead to insomnia and other sleep problems, but a lack of sleep can also contribute to both anxiety and stress.
‘Anxiety triggers our fight or flight response which is that the body’s thanks to preparing us for action against the threat, not the perfect state to undertake to urge to sleep,’ says consultant health psychologist Dr Sue Peacock.
‘Unfortunately, this cycle only continues to get worse if you do not sleep enough at night, as your body boosts its level of stress hormones.
‘This is because the brain chemicals that relate to deep sleep are the same ones that tell your body to stop the production of stress hormones.
‘So as a result, if you do not sleep well, your body keeps pumping out these hormones, so the next day you feel even more stressed. And the following night you find it hard to sleep then you get stuck in this circle.’
There is nothing worse than lying in bed staring at the ceiling with anxious thoughts whirling around thinking about how much you want to sleep, but also unable to shift these worries.
What is more, we know that sleep is vital for regulating our mood, making us feel better and for our general health so it is vital to tackle any issues that may be disrupting it.
If ‘middle of the night’ anxiety is keeping you up, experts have shared some things to undertake.


Dr Sue Peacock says to use the tactic of journaling to release any anxieties from the day.
She comments: ‘A few hours before bed, believe your day and write down, what has gone well, what has not gone are you able to do anything about it? And what does one got to remember tomorrow?
‘These factors are usually the ones that keep us awake, but by doing this we have had a chance to process the day before going to bed.’
There are two different techniques, in particular, that can help distract a mind from anxious thoughts during the night.
The first one among these is ‘thought switching.’
‘Think of an area where you are feeling calm and relaxed it might be a beach, rustic walks, your garden etc and describe it in great detail to yourself, mouthing the words as you speak instead of keeping them in your mind,’ says Dr Sue Peacock
There is also ‘thought stopping’ which is where a person thinks of the word ‘the’ every two seconds.
‘Rarely will you get beyond five minutes before you are sleeping,’ continues Dr Sue.
‘This works as it blocks your negative thoughts and because the word “the” does not mean anything or have any emotion attached to it, your mind won’t wander.’
Clinical psychologist Dr Carla Runchman stresses the importance of a consistent bedtime routine also nearly as good ‘sleep hygiene’ which essentially means having an environment and daily practices that promote uninterrupted sleep.
It is a good idea to dedicate at least thirty minutes to wind down into your evening routine.
Dr Carla says: ‘This is often different for various people, for instance, reading, having a shower or listening to calm music.
‘Physically relaxing your body and helping your mind to recognise when your muscles are relaxed is another evidence-based technique to reduce anxiety.’
Deep breathing is a simple and effective way to calm the body and help with anxiety and stress.
Dr Don Grant, of The Independent Pharmacy, says: ‘Breathing deeply boosts the availability of oxygen to the brain. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls bodily functions during times of stress.
‘The result is that people can feel calmer and less anxious, helping them get back to sleep.’
TRY THE 5-4-3-2-1 METHOD 
If you have got anxiety, you will be conversant in the 5-4-3-2-1 tool which aims to assist people to ground themselves when having an episode or scare.
‘It uses the recognition of the five senses to ease anxiety says, Dr Don Grant.
‘Firstly, people look around their surroundings and spot five things they can see. Secondly, they note four things they will hear. Thirdly, they identify three things they can feel. Fourthly, they pinpoint two things they will smell. Finally, they specialise in one thing they will taste.’


Meditation is another great option although it is a good idea to get out of bed and into a more calming space before trying this.
‘Find somewhere comfortable and set a quiet alarm or timer on their phone for twenty minutes (it is easier to relax when you know the timer will let you know when the session is over),’ holistic life coach and wellness specialist Nicola Henderson tells
‘Then use mantra meditation which is repeating a press release over and over, it is often done silently in your head or aloud counting on the circumstance, something like “When I sleep my body is rejuvenated and that I welcome this point to rest.”
‘You are reinforcing to your subconscious mind the advantages of an honest night’s sleep, while also distracting yourself through the mantra. The repetition of the words is additionally soothing as it is rhythmic.’


 Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, says to line yourself a fanatical time and place every day that you simply can devote to worrying. 
‘It might sound counterintuitive but it can assist in giving you a way of control over your worries. If a worry situation shows up in non-worry time (e.g. night), decide to disengage from the mind thoughts until your set time,’ she 
‘ Make sure the place you choose worry time is nearly neutral because it’s presumably going to come related to your fussing not in your bed or favourite chair, for instance.’


 However, it’s crucial not to struggle alone, If these strategies aren’t improving the anxiety. 
 A GP may be able to refer you for cognitive behavioural therapy or other helpful therapies so be sure to make an appointment if‘ middle of the night’ anxiety continues. 

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