Anyone who has ever experienced waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety knows that it is one of the worst ways to ruin an otherwise good night. Nobody wants to feel panicked, worried, and not able to go back to sleep because of anxiety. If you have experienced this, you can fight anxiety back and not let it keep you awake all night. If the issue persists, you ought to see the best Montreal psychologists, especially if you’ve tried several measures to address the issue but failed.
But before anything else, you need to understand why anxiety wakes you up at night. Basically, your body can trigger anxiety anytime without warning. Your subconscious mind is responsible for what you feel whether you are reading a book, watching television, or already sleeping soundly in your bed.
If you are dealing with stress while you are awake, your brain can simulate that pattern and make you feel stressed, bringing you to a panicked state even after you are away from the stressor. For instance, if you are stressed in the office because of a big project, your subconscious mind can still take you to that stressful state, even after you get home and try to get a good night’s sleep. So, what happens is you wake up in the middle of the night, feeling stressed after you have already managed to relax.
When anxiety wakes you up at night, it is even worse than having panic attacks during the day. When you wake up feeling anxious, the problem intensifies and multiplies because you also worry about not having enough sleep for the busy day ahead of you. The cycle of worrying and panicking continues all night, leaving you tired, sleepy, and restless.
How to Cope with Anxiety at Night
Coping with panic attacks during the day is already difficult as it is, but coping with an attack after you awaken from a relaxing sleep is even more difficult. The challenge is that there is no warning so you are not given a chance to prepare for it.
When anxiety wakes you up at night, do not try to force yourself to go back to sleep and just ignore the symptoms. You will only end up feeling frustrated and aggravated. Instead, turn on the lights and try to focus on what you are experiencing. You need to be reminded that it is just a panic attack and that is not something that is life threatening.
Talking to yourself is one way of regulating your breathing and stopping hyperventilation. Try to focus instead of worrying as it can only aggravate the anxiety that you are feeling.
Most importantly, in order to avoid this situation from happening, you need to determine the underlying medical conditions that cause them. Anxiety at night or nocturnal panic attacks can be caused by obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, or hyperventilation disorder. But, it should also be noted that none of these mentioned conditions alone can cause anxiety at night. However, when they occur among individuals who have anxiety disorders, nocturnal panic attacks are more likely to occur as well.
Since weight is a critical factor in sleep apnea, it can help to exercise, eat well, and lose weight. If the reason for your anxiety is GERD, you need to make sure that you take your medications regularly to prevent attacks triggered by acid reflux disease. Practice yoga and breathing exercises so that you will be more aware of your breathing throughout the day. This will reduce the chances of experiencing hyperventilation at night.