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Panic, Pain, and Sleepless Nights

It was a glorious night. I was able to get comfortable with ease, and I fell asleep with no fuss. Being able to hop in bed, find a cozy spot, and fall into a peaceful slumber within a short time rarely ever happens. It was indeed glorious. I should have known trouble was on the horizon.

I was indeed sleeping quite well when it happened. It was sudden but strong. I was immediately wide awake and in a panic.

Waking in a full-blown panic attack

It took me a minute to realize what was happening. At the moment, all I could feel was intense fear and I could not figure out why I was so afraid. When I understood there was no real threat, I was able to calm down just a little.

I, of course, was not able to will away a panic attack. All I could do was try to slow down my breathing in hopes of slowing my heart rate. A racing heart scares me even more, and it seems to make a panic attack last longer. I kept trying to take deep breaths, hoping it would soon pass.

Waking up with back-to-back panic attacks

Eventually, it did pass. Shortly after, I was able to get back to sleep. Again, this was not normal for me.

I did not stay asleep for very long before it happened once more. I knew what was happening, but there was nothing I could do about it, but ride it out. I have had panic attacks at night before, but I have never had 2 in a single night that woke me from a sound sleep.

Once again, I was sitting in the middle of the bed, wide awake, and trying my best to calm my thoughts and slow my racing heart.

A break from insomnia interrupted

So many different things affect my sleep patterns and ability to sleep. Even when insomnia is giving me a break, something is bound to keep me awake. I am not allowed to enjoy a peaceful slumber. For whatever reason, Mr. Sandman often refuses to send me a dream.

Instead of sleeping through the night when I was actually able to fall asleep fast and fall into a deep sleep, I found myself in a panic. Making it worse, I woke in a panic not once, but twice. Why was this happening?

Did pain cause my panic attacks?

After the second panic attack subsided, I laid back down to try to go back to sleep. It wasn't long before a sudden pain appeared in my leg and hip area. It wasn't intense, unbearable pain but was definitely enough to grab my full attention. Could this be what sparked panic and woke me from a peaceful slumber?

I spent the next few hours unable to go to sleep. Once it dulled down to a minor discomfort, I was able to return to sleep. Perhaps it was indeed what led to my panic attacks during the night.

Panic disorder that leads to insomnia

Unfortunately, panic attacks tend to stick around once they appear. Part of my mental health diagnosis includes panic disorder. This is not always a problem now, but it does flare up from time to time.

I have already had one more today, and it is likely I will have another before the day is out. Hopefully, I won't have any in the middle of the night. I would really like to sleep. I am way past due for a few hours of sleep in a row.

Have you had panic attacks in the middle of the night? How did you handle it? I would love to hear about your experience and welcome any tips and tricks you have for dealing with midnight panic attacks.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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