Panic attacks morning

Tips for Coping with Morning Anxiety

Given the stress of living through a pandemic, moderate anxiety is common. Waking up in a panic every morning is more troubling, as it sets in before coping mechanisms can be deployed. Morning anxiety has a biological cause: Cortisol, often called the “stress hormone,” is higher during the first hour after waking for people experiencing stress. Sometimes people feel a measure of control when they worry, so they have trouble stopping the cycle.

To learn more, check out the infographic below created by Wake Forest University’s Master of Arts in Counseling program.

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Symptoms of and Myths About Anxiety

Many people conflate stress and anxiety, but they’re different. Webster’s defines anxiety as “being uneasy, apprehensive or worried about what may happen,” whereas stress is “mental or emotional tension or strain characterized by feelings of anxiety, fear, etc.” Stress can also be defined as not having the resources to complete a task, while anxiety is usually tied to a perceived threat, real or imagined. Stress may be alleviated by accomplishing the task, but anxiety sticks around, producing a host of physical and psychological symptoms.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Some of the symptoms commonly associated with anxiety are internally physical in nature, which can range from nausea and headache to rapid heart rate and tight chest. Other symptoms are outwardly physical, such as sweating, shaking or having difficulty breathing. There are also symptoms tied to behavioral or emotional tendencies, such as a sense of panic, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and diminished sex drives. Other potential symptoms are fatigue or problems sleeping.

Common Misconceptions About Anxiety

Unfortunately, there are several myths regarding anxiety and how it’s handled. Some prominent misconceptions include worrying is genetic and incurable, anxiety medication is addictive, using distractions or avoiding stressful situations can help minimize the threat of anxiety, and being around supportive people can cure anxiety.

Prevalence of Anxiety

Anxiety has been on the rise the last few years, as 32% of Americans say they’re more anxious than they were the year before. In 2019, two-thirds of Americans were worried about the safety of themselves and their families as well as their finances. Nearly two-thirds had anxiety about their health, and around half were worried about the effects of politics and had anxiety over various interpersonal relationships.

Ongoing anxiety can cause a variety of physical ailments, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney and heart damage and arrhythmia. It can also exacerbate other conditions, such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, heart disease, stroke and chronic pain.

General Anxiety Disorder

While occasional worry is a part of life, frequent excessive anxiety about tasks or situations that most people don’t find threatening could be an indication of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Nearly 7 million adult Americans experience GAD annually, per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Studies also indicate GAD affects women about twice as often as it affects men. Additionally, people with serious or painful medical conditions or substance misuse problems are more likely to have anxiety disorders.

Everyday Anxiety vs. GAD

An individual experiencing everyday anxiety will spend time worrying about a specific event, assignment, or task. They’ll also have trouble sleeping or concentrating during stressful times, and they’ll experience physical aches and pains from specific situations.

An individual with GAD will experience ongoing general worry about vague, often imagined threats that interfere with daily life. They’ll also experience frequent trouble sleeping or concentrating and experience physical aches and pains for more than six months without a specific cause.

Tips for Reducing Morning Anxiety

If a racing heart or upset stomach greets you first thing in the morning, you can do a few things to help ease your everyday anxiety. For instance, you can engage in exercise, which increases endorphins, improves mental focus, and elevates mood. You can also practice meditation or mindfulness, which can improve ability to calm the mind and stop the cycle of anxious thoughts.

Another tip involves limiting stressors, such as waiting to check news or social media, using an alarm clock instead of a smartphone, or taking the time to self-care. Additionally, you can use tactics designed to exert a sense of control, such as daily planning or writing down and “fact-checking” nagging fears. Finally, resources like meditation apps or podcasts focused on decreasing feelings of isolation can be valuable.

Reaching Out Can Help

If anxiety is impacting your sleep, work, relationships or ability to focus, seek professional help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness connects people with professionals in their area. Call 800-950-NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741. If anxiety is causing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).





What You Need to Know About Waking Up with a Panic Attack

If you wake up with a panic attack, you might be experiencing a nighttime, or nocturnal, panic attack.

These events cause symptoms like any other panic attack — sweating, rapid heart rate, and fast breathing — but because you were asleep when they began, you may wake up disoriented or frightened by the feelings.

Like daytime panic attacks, you can take steps to relieve the intense distress or fear and other symptoms.

If these happen regularly, you might be able to find treatments that can help stop panic attacks altogether. Read on to learn more about panic attacks that wake you up.

The primary symptoms of a panic attack at any time of day can be divided into three categories. In order to be a panic attack, you must experience four or more of these different symptoms at once.

Physical symptoms

  • sweating
  • chills
  • nausea
  • heart palpitations
  • feeling faint or unsteady
  • trembling or shaking
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • shortness of breath
  • chest discomfort or pain
  • sensations of tingling or numbness
  • hot flashes or chills

Emotional symptoms

  • having a sudden fear of dying
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of being under attack

Mental symptoms

  • feeling smothered or choked
  • feeling disconnected from yourself or reality, which are known as depersonalization and derealization

It’s unclear what causes panic attacks, or why 1 in 75 people develop the more chronic condition known as panic disorder.

Researchers have identified underlying factors that might increase your risk for a nighttime panic attack. Even still, not everyone with these risk factors will wake up with a panic attack.

Here are the potential triggers for any type of panic attack.


If you have family members with a history of panic attacks or panic disorder, you might be more likely to experience panic attacks.


Anxiety isn’t the same thing as a panic attack, but the two conditions are closely related. Feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or highly anxious can be a risk factor for a future panic attack.

Brain chemistry changes

Hormonal changes or changes from medications may impact your brain’s chemistry. This may cause panic attacks.

Life events

Upheaval in your personal or professional life can bring about a great deal of worry or concern. This may lead to panic attacks.

Underlying conditions

Conditions and disorders may increase the chances of a panic attack. These may include:

  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • acute stress disorder
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

Individuals with specific phobias may also experience panic attacks that wake them up.

Previous panic attacks

Fear of having another panic attack may increase anxiety. This could lead to sleep loss, increased stress, and higher risk for more panic attacks.

Blood tests, imaging tests, and physical exams can’t determine if you’re having a panic attack or if you have panic disorder. However, they can rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms, such as thyroid and heart diseases, among others.

If these tests results don’t show an underlying condition, your doctor may discuss your symptoms and health history. They may also ask about your current stress levels and any events that are happening which could trigger panic attacks.

If your doctor believes you’ve been having panic attacks or have panic disorder, they may refer you to a mental health specialist for additional evaluation. A therapist or psychologist can help you understand causes of panic disorder and work to eliminate them.

While panic attacks may be unpleasant, they’re not dangerous. Symptoms can be bothersome and may be frightening, but these treatment measures may help reduce and stop them altogether. These treatments for panic attack include:

Treatment in the moment

If you’re experiencing a panic attack, these steps may help ease symptoms:

  • Help yourself relax. Instead of thinking about the rushing feelings you’re having, concentrate on your breath. Focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Feel the tension in your jaw and shoulders, and tell your muscles to release.
  • Distract yourself. If the symptoms of the panic attack feel overwhelming, you can try to distance yourself from the physical sensations by giving yourself another task. Count backward from 100 by intervals of three. Talk to a friend about a happy memory or funny story. Focusing your thoughts away from the sensations in your body helps them ease their grip.
  • Chill out. Keep ice packets ready to go in your freezer. Apply them to your back or neck. Sip a glass of chilled water slowly. Feel the “cooling” sensation as it overtakes your body.
  • Go for a walk. A bit of light exercise might help your body soothe itself. Ask a friend to walk with you if you can. The additional distraction will be welcome relief.

Long-term treatments

If you have regular panic attacks, you may want to talk with your doctor about treatments that can help you reduce the attacks and prevent them from happening in the future. These treatments include:

  • Therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy. During sessions, you will work with a therapist to understand possible causes for your panic attacks. You’ll also develop strategies to help you ease symptoms quickly if they happen again.
  • Medication. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to help prevent future panic attacks. If you do experience a panic attack while on these medications, the symptoms may be less severe.
When to See Your Doctor

These signs might indicate it’s time to talk to your doctor about your panic attacks and possible treatments:

  • you’re experiencing more than two panic attacks in a month
  • you’re having difficulty sleeping or resting for fear of waking up with another panic attack
  • you’re showing signs of other symptoms that might be related to the panic attacks, such as anxiety disorders or stress disorders

If you wake up with a panic attack, it’s natural to feel very disoriented. The symptoms may seem overwhelming.

You may have difficulty knowing if you’re dreaming or not. You may even think you’re having a heart attack. Symptoms like chest pain aren’t uncommon.

Most panic attacks last no more than 10 minutes and symptoms will wane throughout that phase. If you wake up with a panic attack, you may be nearing the peak of the symptoms. Symptoms could ease from that point.

It’s not clear why people experience panic attacks, but certain triggers may make the chances of waking up with one more likely. You may have just one panic attack, or you may have several.

This is a treatable condition. You can take steps in the moment to ease symptoms. You can also work to prevent future panic attacks with therapy and medications.

Panic attacks in the morning (after sleep)

Panic attacks are attacks of uncontrollable fear that have psychological and physiological symptoms. Often these conditions are regular. To find out what is the trigger and provokes panic, it is better to consult a psychologist.

Attacks of this kind may occur on waking or after bad sleep. You can wake up at 5 am and realize that you are experiencing uncomfortable sensations, and anxiety and intense fear do not disappear. Sometimes a person is even without the ability to move during uncontrollable fear, so morning panic attacks are among the most unpredictable and unpleasant. nine0003

Symptoms of a panic attack

Most people experience similar symptoms of uncontrollable dread, although the causes vary. Usually there are problems with breathing, tachycardia appears, and sometimes arrhythmia. The person feels chills, excessive sweating, nausea and dizziness. Mental experiences become more tormenting than physical sensations, since it is not always easy to pull yourself together awake.

Panic attacks after sleep unknowingly can be mistaken for signs of a heart attack, but in fact they indicate problems with the nervous system. Perhaps you were prone to neurosis, or thus osteochondrosis makes itself felt. In a situation where panic overtakes not the second or third time, it makes sense to think about how to deal with it. Otherwise, seizures can seriously affect your quality of life.

Peculiarities of morning panic attacks

Most people who suffer from sleep disorders suffer from panic attacks in the morning. Often such attacks also occur in suspicious people who experience anxiety and emotional excitability. The possibility of the appearance of uncontrollable fear is influenced by the scope of a person’s activity, his lifestyle and habits, as well as the presence of psychological predispositions and injuries. The latter depend on the complexes or events experienced earlier. nine0003

Vivid experiences often provoke panic states. This may be getting into conditions in which you previously felt fear for your life, or inconvenience associated with public reaction, conflicts with loved ones, unexpected turns of events. Those who experience panic attacks in the morning say they have no difficulty getting to sleep. But in the morning it is difficult for them to get out of bed. Often there are pains in the region of the heart, tremor and unreasonable anxiety. nine0003

It happens that a morning panic attack can be triggered by drinking alcohol the day before. They also occur in the lives of people who work in serious and responsible positions or who regularly face stress. Doctors, police officers, big businessmen are regularly under the yoke of high emotional stress. If the situation is aggravated by drinking alcohol, the brain does not have time to relax during a night's sleep, and the result can be a morning panic attack. nine0003

How can I deal with morning panic attacks?

Breathing exercises are considered to be the best way to get rid of panic. With its help, you can quickly recover during an attack, reduce the frequency of attacks or say goodbye to them altogether. To use this technique, you need to lie down comfortably, breathe rhythmically, inhaling the air shallowly and releasing it to empty the lungs. A similar exercise can be done in the lotus position, swaying slightly back and forth. Measured actions and their cyclical repetition during a panic attack helps to ease the attack. You should not resort to active actions at this moment, no matter how your consciousness requires it. nine0003

In a state of indescribable fear, a person loses control over the situation. It is difficult for him to control his own emotions and actions. Therefore, it is important to try to focus not on your own feelings, but on the environment - this will help you get distracted. The visualization technique allows you to present your fear in the form of something tangible and easily deal with it. For example, let the lived panic act as a soap bubble. Imagine how you burst it, and experienced horror dissipates. nine0003

Try to talk to yourself at this moment. Feel what triggered and provoked such an unpleasant state. Is it possible to eliminate this irritant? If deep feelings turn out to be the root cause, it is necessary to work with them with the help of a specialist. This will help the consultation of a psychologist.

Why should panic attacks not be neglected?

Many people consider panic attacks to be a far-fetched condition and do not believe when relatives say that they suffer from depressing conditions. Despite the fact that such attacks do not pose a real global threat to life and health, they should not be treated with disdain. Any sensations that your body encounters do not arise from scratch. In addition, they can lead to unpleasant consequences. So, morning panic attacks can develop into a neurotic disorder, and then result in a full-fledged neurosis. nine0003

It would seem that everything is fixated on a psychological context. But neuroses provoke psychosomatic diseases, and in this case you may encounter an ailment, the treatment of which will take time and money. However, not every specialist is able to quickly and accurately identify the source of the problem. Panic attacks can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, strokes, heart attacks, and other health problems.

A panic attack in the morning also has a destructive effect on your personality. It will no longer be possible to start the day with a good mood and big plans, and your productivity during working hours will greatly decrease. At the same time, it is extremely difficult to get a sick leave due to the occurrence of panic attacks. nine0003

If you do not pay attention to bouts of fear and anxiety, you risk your image at work, the perception of relatives, and simply regularly expose yourself to unnecessary worries. You can overcome the unpleasant states of uncontrollable fear on your own, using simple methods of relaxation and finding harmony between the body and consciousness. Do this through meditation, coaching, auto-training and hypnosis. In situations where the primary source of the problem is any disease, it will be necessary to treat not the symptoms, but the focus. To achieve the result, it is necessary to undergo a series of medical examinations and tests. nine0003

Getting rid of panic attacks is not as difficult as it seems. Important on the path to healing should be your desire and high motivation. On our portal you will find all the necessary materials to fully study such phenomena and techniques for influencing them. Be healthy, take care of yourself and enjoy life without worries!

Panic attack

Panic disorder affects a large number of people in every country in the world. Many researchers believe that at least 10 percent of citizens have experienced panic attacks at one time or another in their lives, and anxiety disorders in general are familiar to at least a quarter of the world's population! Where are these people, you say? The fact is that many, and perhaps you, hide their frustration from others. This is due to fears of being rejected by society as crazy, getting into a "psychiatric hospital" and "perishing there" and other catastrophic scenarios. Therefore, many people suffering from panic attacks are afraid to go to specialists and even share their experiences with relatives. So they suffer "in silence", experiencing their own fears with themselves and considering their illness and "trouble" a unique phenomenon, little known to modern medicine. True, Internet resources have somewhat corrected the state of affairs with education in this area. But even here, to put it mildly, not all information options are equally competent and useful. nine0003

Regarding the common fear of going crazy when experiencing panic disorder. A panic attack does not lead to insanity, since panic is a natural, albeit peak, emotion of fear. If fear, even very strong, could drive one crazy, there would be no mentally healthy people around. Although some psychiatrists suspect this, let's not rely on private opinion, but follow the scientific interpretation. Insanity is a limited list of severe mental illnesses that are caused by biological causes and are called "endogenous" (that is, "generated inside"), or conditions that manifest as a violation of mental processes and are associated with chemical, traumatic, infectious, organic, and the like damage to the brain. character that is physical rather than psychological. Neurosis, including panic disorder (panic disorder), is a functional disorder of higher nervous activity. If we take a computer as a metaphor for the human psyche, then with neurosis, a “program crash” occurs, and not a “breakdown” (like, for example, a “burnt out” hard drive). By what you experienced, you did not "burn" your brain, and did not encode your genome in a different way. Otherwise, using this logic, you would have to be afraid that after strong experiences you might wake up in the morning and find that you suddenly changed gender, nationality or even race (which at one time was determined precisely by the chromosome set inherited from your parents) . nine0003

Panic disorder is definitely manageable! Strategically, you need to complete a full course of psychotherapy. The most effective in the world practice for such disorders is recognized as the cognitive-behavioral direction of psychotherapy. Tactically, antidepressants with anti-anxiety effects and tranquilizers can be used for situational relief of a panic attack, anxiety or fear. However, it should be understood that in most cases, medications will only act as a “crutch” and a temporary outlet, they are not able to change your attitude and the habit of scaring yourself already formed at the level of complex reflexes.

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