Why do i have panic attacks when i sleep?

If you’re one of those who occasionally or frequently experience panic attacks while sleeping, you know how unexpected and frightening they can be. You wake up from a deep slumber, gasping for air with your heart pounding like it’s about to burst out of your chest. It feels like being chased by an imaginary monster in your nightmares which makes no sense because there isn’t any real danger around.

Panic attacks usually occur when there is intense anxiety or stress that leads to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, nausea and chest pain amongst others. However,panic attacks during sleep have remained a baffling mystery especially since people typically feel relaxed when snoozing off and scientists are yet to identify an exact cause for these episodes.

What is A Panic Attack?

Before we dive into why they happen at night let us first understand what happens during these anxiety-fuelled episodes better known as panic attacks.

When experiencing a panic attack (whether asleep or awake), certain hormones including adrenaline get released into the bloodstream which activates ‘fight-or-flight’ mode usually reserved for life-threatening emergencies. The sudden activation often lasts between 5-20 minutes and although not painful in itself, it can be accompanied by distressful thoughts such as impending doom making them terrifying for those who go through them.

As much as feeling threatened is natural under stressful circumstances due to physiological changes namely surge in adrenaline levels that get our bodies ready for action; brain messengers contributed significantly identifying threats even if unconsciously perceived (amygdala hijack) causing large scale disorders eventually pervading every inch of our daily lives without restraint should prompt medical attention immediately one panics insidiously taking over their activities on parallax view stammering incessantly whatever feats before attempted heads towards stagnation if left unchecked- catch me next week am off to seek help from a shrink with nerves of steel.

Sleep Paralysis

Have you ever found yourself unable to move, speak or even open your eyes right after waking up in the middle of the night? Well, that’s sleep paralysis for you. It happens when our brain goes into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase which is usually associated with dreams and our muscles become temporarily paralyzed so we don’t act out during these episodes. This state typically lasts a few seconds or minutes before regaining control over our bodies again.

However, if one happens to have experienced it once they’re likely to experience it again due to trigger points like anxiety especially when there is unresolved trauma including intense fear previously undergone often manifesting through lucid dreaming erasing possible distinction between reality and fantasy making sthuck unconsciousness set upon hard surfaces difficult nighmares thereafter marks quite impossible forgetting factor looped memories ahead emanating physical effects on body – So what can be done indeed?

Here are some coping mechanisms:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Grounding techniques where one focuses on their senses whilst noticing their environment
  • Therapy sessions

These acts may eventually aid falling asleep quicker encouraging better overall ~~mental~~ health

Why Do Panic Attacks Often Occur During Sleep?

Although numerous theories exist on why panic attacks occur while sleeping no definitive explanations exist at this time as aforementioned earlier. However,it could be attributed to the fact that changes in respiration patterns tied up by hyper-sensitivity triggers affect levels of oxygen passing through pathways leading into hyperventilation syndrome(blowing own trumpet sure sets pace most times ye). Excessive carbon dioxide resulting from hyperventilating causes constriction accompanied by fear culminating pathological fears witnessed within patients onset experiencing impulsiveness inducing disillusionment preceding any treatment options administered against objections- giving rise therefore pathologic cycle accumulating subsequent life problems slowly but surely till dealt with responsibly enough finally restoring sanity.

Research shows that individuals subjected to stressors over an extended period often exhibit fear stimulated by stimuli connected with the same event later on including lack of control and risky situations. Searching through our memory bank for similar responses (central panic sensitization) heightens absolute fears overpowering reasoned thoughts, propelling rapid emotional firepower we feel within oneself baring empty reasoning somewhat distressful because it seems like nobody is there to help until enlightened.

The Role Of Genetics

Recent studies have linked various genes to anxiety disorders, including panic disorder. Genetic factors may affect how certain brain chemicals work which could lead to changes in our body’s response when faced with stressful events triggering panic attacks during sleep or wakefulness periods given they’re severely provoked. Moreover, environmental inputs could influence gene expression inclining towards a semi-permanent insufficiency largely affecting resultant phenotypic outcome restorative measures mitigating external shrapnel exhibiting itself thru emotion through space as if extroverted soul previously residing around ocean beds desiring new horizons seeking hope lying undercurrents but drowning still anyway determined.

Although illnesses such as chronic lung disease and heart conditions don’t cause anxiety disorders perse; people who suffer from these diseases are more likely ever than others predisposed to panic attacks due underlying internal tensions hampering once forged goals fundamentally inducing decreased self-worth subverting initial efforts unlike before veering off expected course prerequisites required along this journey of ours nightrmares ingrained forever reflecting via possible symptoms easier observed outwardly depending basically upon individuality enforced growing consciousness about own nature vis-a-vis personal affairs prior attained objectives- sobering up particularly helpful: physical workout regimes adopted gradually building momentum forward moving overcoming obstacles effortlessly kept at bay incrementally constantly looking ahead remaining resolute yet open-minded enough for the unfolding future beckoning us patiently awaiting reaching up one step-at-a-time hopeful steadily get there someday? One can only keep believing stronger affirmatively imbued big-dreams.


To wrap it up like a Christmas present, panic attacks during sleep are not uncommon and tend to be triggered by multiple factors that differ considerably from one person to another.

By familiarizing ourselves with the mechanisms of these attacks and discussing with doctors or qualified therapists; cultivating open-mindedness becoming accountable along all life’s proceedings consequently bringing whatever fears got into us into the bright light of day having full view allowing for essential scrutiny towards corrective measures ensuing afterwards proving helpful once resumed proper habits-turned-lifestyle gaining momentum doing only sheer best always remaining grateful in this world full of challenges never experienced before today breaking barriers cautiously sure-footed enough marking just good-enough progress attaining almost incredible accomplishments along spectacular paths less travelled embracing unique qualities residing deep inside oneself surviving adverse conditions yielding promising results outwardly reflecting back renewed self-esteem: Let’s gO!

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