Correcting common Misinterpretations
FALSE ALARM 10. Waking up in panic (Nocturnal panic attacks)
60% of people with panic disorder experience attacks in their sleep. Many people are even afraid to go to sleep at night..
One reason has to do with the physical changes of ‘letting go’ that occur as we go into deep sleep.
To someone who is already on ‘high alert’ (in fear of panic attacks) these bodily sensations can first of all wake them up and then trigger a panic attack. The feared consequences of the sensations seem even worse at night or when we are jolted out of sleep.
Because we were ‘simply sleeping’ we imagine that there can be no other possible explanation for these feelings except serious illness or impending death! Our extreme reaction can then quickly set off our fear response with a rapid increase in the sensations.
Keep in mind that this is a VERY common occurrence and again can not cause you any actual harm.
Practice your skills as quickly as you can to reduce misinterpretation – keep a Flashcard by your bed. If you need to, get up and walk around until you feel the intensity come down. Fill in a Panic Attack Diary to help you objectify the experience. ‘Ground’ yourself by being mindful of your environment and as usual..
LET IT HAPPEN..