Waking Up With Anxiety In The Middle Of The Night?

Finding peace with anxiety attacks at nightStress and anxiety are two factors of life that are just a reality; especially for adults. As human beings we learn to adapt and handle pressures from work, school, family and day-to-day tasks pretty well. General life experiences are probably the best teachers to show us what we can handle and what we are capable of. As a result; have you ever noticed that you don’t think so much about your worries or “bigger” life issues during the day time, but that when you lay down at night it all comes rushing at you? Do you find yourself waking up with anxiety in the middle of the night?

Nighttime is when human beings are the most vulnerable and it can be traced to our ancestors when just about anything and everything on this planet was trying to kill us. Yes, many thousands of years ago, when the sun set – it was rarely a safe place. These instincts are still hard-wired into us; except now our brains usually deal with anxiety over paying bills, what will come of our futures, will our loved ones always be safe and plenty of what ifs!

It’s incredibly common for just about anyone to feel vulnerable and have nighttime anxiety ruin a solid night’s sleep. And it can sometimes be terrifying. But don’t despair.

Here are some suggestions for the next time you find suffer from nocturnal anxiety..

Reducing Panic Attacks At Night

1. Breath

Whenever I wake up with anxiety and feel a panic attack coming on the first thing I try to do is  breath. You’ve heard it a million times, but breathing techniques really do wonders. The real trick is remembering to breath, because anxiety and panic attacks can be so intense that it cancels out all other thought processes or rational thinking. Make sure to focus only on continuous breathing and try to imagine your body and mind slowing down. Do this for several minutes. Then get up and remove yourself from the bed. You need to go sit and move the energy if possible.

2. Reevaluate

Next, Acknowledge the very thoughts that are triggering it. I understand that I am already having these specific thoughts about life, but I have to think about the thoughts themselves.

It’s important that you tell yourself “I know that I have every right to feel anxious about ___________”, but night time is a tool for sleeping; not a tool for solving problems “physically“. It is not a good moment to present resources to fix worries now. Also remind yourself that the world is not caving in around you and that it’s common for anyone to having worrying thoughts at night.

You also should remind yourself that you probably have a lot ahead of you and have all the time in the world to solve your concerning problems. Plus….the big one. You don’t always KNOW for certain that those “Scary” things in your mind will ever play out that negatively. In other words – remind yourself of miracles, that life is designed to work in your favor and that you are capable enough to overcome any of life’s obstacles IN THE DAY TIME.

Now think about that. There’s nothing you need to do to conquer stress when all that is required of you is to rest. This is the time to let that computer in your head meditate and program subconscious solutions into your being to help you with tomorrow. Sounds pretty way out, but that’s what your brain is – a VERY active computer that is constantly heat-seeking solutions to life’s problems. That’s how we survive. It works best when it can focus the majority of your body’s power on itself….at night!

3. Make a list

If you can identify what is specifically causing you to wake up with anxiety then get a notepad and document all of your concerns. For some of us our minds tend to fixate on fears and the big “what-ifs?”. If they stay in your mind then they tend to fester. Get them out into reality on paper where you can see them. Make a to-do list of fears and you may feel enough sense of accomplishment that you can get back to sleep feeling like you did something about it.

Try These Amazing Natural Remedies For Nighttime Anxiety

Try getting up and taking a calcium supplement the next time you find yourself waking up with anxiety. You can also start taking Vitamin D as this too has directly linked in numerous studies with depression and anxiety. It’s also recommended for those who struggle with S.A.D. Likewise, you may also investigate taking Magnesium. There is much evidence to suggest that most people do not get nearly enough magnesium for their benefit.  Whenever I wake up with a panic attack I’ll immediately go and take a couple of calcium and magnesium supplements. I find that within the hour I feel calmer and it helps me personally to get to sleep.

Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb that comes in powder form. You can mix just a little bit with juice or water, but I find that a cup of hot water with about 1 tsp mixed in really makes me feel relaxed. A caution for you – if you consider picking some up, please try it in a small amount at first to see how your body handles it. It can make you feel a little light-headed. But it’s thought to help with stress, healing, depression and anxiety. If you’re looking for something that may quickly calm your mind – give this one a shot.

Chamomile tea is another suggestion that might just become your new “nightly-ally”. This favorite, hot beverage contains Matricaria recutita which is a type of compound that binds to certain helpful brain receptors. Not only does it help you to relax, but it also tastes pretty delicious as well.

Valerian Root which you can acquire in supplement form has always been an old standby in my family. It acts as a type of “mild tranquilizer”. So if you experience bouts of insomnia after suffering from a frightening panic attack in the middle of the night – give this a shot. In fact in Europe it’s recognized as potential sleep aid.

Rescue Remedy is a fantastic, all-natural herbal concoction. Although it’s a smart solution to carry with you for when you feel anxiety coming on, it can also help in the middle of the night. This has always been a go-to formula in my family and it’s even safe for your pets!


The general methodology to this is simply:

  • Breath and calm your mind – first take control to stop the thoughts and lessen the symptoms (shallow breathing, hysterical feelings, sweating, heart palpitations, etc). Give it a second. You need to come down and be gentle with yourself. You’re experiencing a little nighttime PTSD.
  • Re-frame what is going on. You need to remove yourself from the place where you had the attack (your bed usually). Go into another room where it is dark and sit for a moment. Consider the thoughts that caused your attack. Usually these don’t seem like thoughts, but are manifested into very frightening feelings and sensations. This is when your thoughts have subconsciously gotten so out of control that they are activating your “fight-or-flight” response. This is unnecessary and I find it helpful to view it as a trick.
  • Document. If you can identify specific thought patterns that you feel are the cause of your anxiety then journal about them or make a list. Yes, even at night. The idea here is to get it out of your thought processes and to make yourself feel like you’re doing something about your worries. Let your mind go to sleep knowing that you at least acknowledged these thoughts and are taking some action.
  • Take something. Above there are some excellent suggestions for some natural sleep and relaxation aids that can help get your body and mind calmed down again. You’ve just been through a lot. Now your body is pumped with stimulation after an anxiety attack during sleep. That’s like drinking 12 espresso shots and then laying down for a nap. You need some herbal tea, supplements, aromatherapy or something that puts you back into the right state.
  • Return to breathing. When you get ready to lay back down return to the breathing. Breath in 1-2-3 through your nose, slowly and then exhale. Do this until you start to feel yourself grow tired. You need time to allow any natural sleep aid to work its magic and the breathing helps calm the whole body.

Anxiety is a part of life, but it does not have to ruin your life. It can be used as a tool rather than a crippling curse. There will never be a complete solution for these tendencies, but try to take comfort in knowing that we all experience them and hopefully these suggestions will help you If you’re waking up with anxiety in the middle of the night.





How To Stop Panic Attacks At Night

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
  • Diet
  • 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
  • Ashwagandha
  • Valerian
  • Melatonin
  • Chamomile tea
  • Magnesium

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.