Night time panic attacks - what helps?

photo by Perfecto Insecto

In this week's podcast we talk about natural ways to prevent night time panic attacks.


Question: Hello Shann and Ananga!

You both have been such a positive force in my life - thank you for all of the gifts that you share with us. I suffer from panic attacks at all times of the day, but mostly in the morning (between 7am and 9am) and at night.

At night, I have a tendency to wake up after being asleep for only an hour or two, and experience a vast array of symptoms - rapid heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and fast shallow breathing.

Is there any way to prevent these from happening - maybe something I can eat, drink, do before bed? I eat clean and exercise fairly regularly, though I do spend most of my day sitting at a desk.

Any advice? Thank you for all that you do.



Points covered in this podcast

Start keeping a brief log of what you did, ate and drank during the day and how you slept that night. On nights when you feel anxious review the previous day and look for clues, then change what you can.

Watch out for alcohol and caffeine: both cause anxiety in the night.

Sometimes people drink in the evening to relax and initially it seems that they have, but a few hours into the night they wake up feeling panicky.

Practice getting as relaxed as possible before going to sleep: this lowers your baseline anxiety level.


A bedtime drink that can help you relax:

Hot milk (organic if possible) with a pinch of nutmeg and a little honey. This warm, sweet drink is very calming. Nutmeg is a natural relaxant, it has been known for thousands of years to help with sleep and a relaxed mind. But please use with caution nutmeg is toxic in large amounts and can cause hallucinations and vomiting.


Other things to help you relax before bed:

Oil massage - massage your feet with sesame oil, to bring busy head energy down and help you feel grounded.

Calming acupressure points: these are good for clearing your mind for sleep and also for calming down fast when a panic attack wakes you up.

Try the calm point, EFT, or the Quick Anxiety Stopper. All of these use calming acupressure points known to reduce anxiety.

If you have good tools you can start dealing with the fear of the fear and things get much less intense. It's empowering and incredibly effective.

These techniques can also be used to dissolve anxiety quickly when it wakes you up. If you can deal with anxiety when it strikes and you know how to help yourself feel calm and safe you will start to feel better very soon.

It's like being able to put out a fire. You don't fear fire so much when you know how to put it out and you have the necessary tools to do so.

When you have good tools you can also reduce anticipatory anxiety because you feel less anxious when you know what to do to get back in control and feel calm again.


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