19745875 tn?1483638911

Nocturnal Panic attacks

I'm wondering how many of you with a panic disorder experience what are called Nocturnal panic attacks, or NPAs. Depending on my level of anxiety or stress, I can get up to 5 of these a night. I've had them most nights for the last 8 years, although I've noticed a few long breaks with hardly any. Even without panic attacks for years, I still experience these. It's a super strange experience to wake up mid panic attack. Any shared experiences out there?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
About 6 months ago I started having panic attacks due to my psych doc cold turkeying me off of Vyvanse (stimulant for ADHD). Actually saying panic attacks isn't quite accurate, it was more like one never ending panic episode 24 hours a day for nearly 2 months. It was so bad I lost nearly 40 lbs, that is very bad for 2 months.

Anywho, towards the end of this time period my panic attacks had begun to subside to 1-3 a day but EVERY night I would be awoken with a nocturnal panic attack. It was very frustrating. They finally stopped when I began my current medication regiment but they are very unsettling. At the time I was also taking a medication that was an Alpha antagonist. First Olanzapine then Quetiapine (both antipsychotics, prescribed to me for insomnia and anxiety, would not recommend either one unless you are desperate).

Have you talked to your doctor about them? I have heard a medication called clonidine taken at bedtime can reduce, or in some cases, eliminate nocturnal panic attacks. Also, have you been checked for sleep apnea? I've read sleep apnea can cause nocturnal panic attacks as well.
Yes, I've had a sleep study done because I was also concerned maybe sleep apnea was the culprit. Turns out it isn't, but they're super weird. I can deal with them for the most part, I was more  curious if anyone else had similar issues. I'm glad yours stopped, as they can be very annoying. Mine have been happening for so long, they're a part of my routine haha.
Avatar universal
Just read this and wanted you to know I am right here with you.  Problem for me is, I get up in the mornings after being in full "flight and fight" mode and the rest of my day feels like a rollercoaster going through my central nervous system.  Are you currently on mediciation?  Just curious.
Nope, no medication. I really dislike the idea of it. But I'm with you on the day time roller coaster. Some days are awful.
There isn't really any physical reason for there to be a special time for people to have panic attacks, although yours are at the moment anyway nocturnal. FYI, perhaps you will have a change in your life and they will go away or be evident at other times.

I read when I can't get back to sleep because the combination of eyes quickly getting tired to match the body and the focus moving off my life and onto the contents of the book helps put me back to sleep.
You can also look into therapy if that suggestion doesn't help.
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