It’s been a long day and now the sun has set and the world is bathed in darkness. It’s night time and it’s getting later and you start to feel the pull of a long day’s sleep. You wrap up all that needs to be done. You move yourself away from the television, brush your teeth, change into your nighttime attire, pull back the sheets, crawl into bed and with the flick of a switch – the light is out. Silence and now you are all to yourself and eagerly awaiting a good night’s sleep. Perhaps you are even married and find that your partner is already fast asleep beside you, but for whatever reason you cannot let down. You may even find yourself jealous or envious of other people who seem to easily fall fast asleep.
According to SleepMed 1 in 3 individuals will experience insomnia at some point in their lives. As the day closes off it can be quite common to experience a panic attack at night. The reasons can be many:
- Work-related stress
- Worried about life expectations
- Feeling like you’re not caught up
- Feeling that you’re going in the wrong direction in life
- Financial worries
- Thoughts of mortality for self and others
The list can go on-and-on and you probably are very aware of this. All of these things have to do with future and events that have yet to unravel or may will never, but somehow the anxiety in your mind tells you that these things will surely be inevitable. Anxiety can easily be triggered by one unpleasant thought; which then causes the mind to spiral out of control and soon enough you feel it in your body. From your breathing to your heart. Deep down inside you know that there is nothing that you need to do to fix tomorrow’s problems, tonight. If you could just get the rest you need you can address any concerns your mind has tomorrow. You know this, but how do you do it? Let’s see if there are some solutions…
Stopping Nighttime Panic Attacks By Removing These From Your Diet
This won’t solve the problem completely, but think of it as an important piece of the puzzle. Do you drink alcohol? do you consume a lot of coffee? can’t get away from sugar? what do these things all have in common? caffeine! and even a consistent dose of caffeine throughout the day may set you up for failure to fall asleep at night. Try to avoid drinking alcohol at night, because alcoholic beverages are a stimulus and a depressant; which is a bad combination. Also try to limit your intake of sugar and don’t assume that it’s all coming from beverages. Many solid foods contain high levels of sugar as well. Even so called “health” foods can contain a lot of sugars so make sure that you read labels and monitor your intake.
Avoid Light Stimulation
This website talks a lot about Light Boxes, but it also points out that they are best used in the morning, because using such a powerful source of light at night can cause sleep issues. Likewise; TV, computer and even smart phone screens can bombard your brain with stimulating signals that can make it difficult to get to sleep. Try to make a pact with yourself to avoid such devices for a couple of hours before sleep. What are the alternatives? working on a puzzle, reading, writing, drawing, shuffling cards. If any of these things seem boring to you then this may be a good idea, because it’s that restlessness of “needing to accomplish something now!” that we all have in us; which can set the mind up for a panic attack at night.
Using Meditation To Ease Anxiety At Night
Meditation may sound like a cliche answer and you’ve probably read about it’s benefits over-and-over again, but the simple truth is that it does work. It may not work immediately and does require discipline and a routine. Many people want to practice or have tried meditation to ease their anxiety, but will admit that they have a hard time sticking with it. This is because when you are fresh to meditation your thoughts want to fight you left-and-right. “This is stupid!”, “I’m wasting my time!”, “My grocery list is more important!”, “I can’t relax!” – these are all common thoughts during your first attempts at meditation and it’s normal. Meditation is about getting your normal voice out of your head and it’s worth it, because you may have some amazing experiences overtime.
Even in the daytime when you start to experience panic coming on, if possible to take 30 seconds to “clear your thoughts” you may find that you feel completely different and “clear-sighted”. Guided meditation is one option or meditating with the accompaniment of sounds or music, but ultimately total quietness while distancing the mind would be ideal. This is also going to be the form that challenges you the most, because you are asking your mind to ignore all that is around you. True meditation is the absence of thought; which you can think of as your little, daily vacation from all of your troubles. Instead of thinking that you are going to miss out – try thinking of it as a gift that you were born with being able to do.
Natural Aids For Creating Positive Drowsiness
Alcohol is an example of an aid that many people turn to at night which can make you feel drowsy, but it can also interrupt your sleep/wake cycle. So that’s not exactly healthy, but there are some natural solutions that can help you over the course of a week get into a routine of actually feeling sleepy before bed time.
- Calcium tablets
- Chamomile tea
There are plenty more such as Power to Sleep PM which contains many helpful ingredients such as passionflower ,GABA, lemon balm and hops extract. One word of caution is that just because you may want to conquer having anxiety at night doesn’t mean that you should try loading up on all of these at once. You should test everything out to see how your body responds first. Power to Sleep PM does contain the majority of the active ingredients listed above, but they seem to be the right amount for most people according to the reviews at Amazon.
Adjusting Your Bedroom Environment
It may seem like Hocus Pocus, but having the right bedroom arrangement can really make a difference in whether you are able to get calmed down at night or not. Certain ways that you have furniture angled, how you have your bed positioned and the direction of where your bed is pointed really can change everything. Feng Shui That Makes Sense covers a lot of what you may be interested to know and even has a special section dedicated to bedroom space.
Aromatics To Prevent Having Panic Attacks At Night
Having lit candles are an excellent way to calm the body and mind. One reason is that they can provide a sort of hypnotic, flickering source of light as a substitute for normal lighting such as a bed light. Plus you can have as many as you want. When you get ready to blow them out even the aromatic smoke left over can feel soothing. Three of the most calming scents are lavender, pine and sandalwood. You may want to find candles or scented oils that contain these soothing smells, but you can also find linen sprays to use for your bed sheets, covers and pillows.
Aural Ambiance For Sleeping
Some people cannot sleep with any noise going on around them at all; while others may benefit from this tip. There are certain sounds that you may find will help your mind drift into a sleepy state. For some it may be having the continuous, droning noise of a box fan near by. For others it may be the sound of Tibetan wind chimes or a Rain CD. And even believe it or not some people sleep better with the busy, background chatter of inner-city sounds. Whatever may work for you, if you have never tried aural ambiance before then don’t rule it out quite yet.
Still having trouble with panic attacks during the night OR day time? You may consider trying this approach to managing your anxiety.