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Thread: Nocturnal panic/anxiety attacks

  1. #11
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    When I turned 50 I developed a host of health issues and then came panic attacks. I would get them during the day and it was affecting my ability to work with clients. I started taking a small dose of Effexor and they totally went away. Luckily I rarely have problems sleeping.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I would have that happen and it was sleep apnea. Totally stopped once I got a c-pap. It would be terrifying because I would wake up gasping and my heart was racing. If I was dreaming it would always switch to a dream of me drowning. It would take more than an hour to get back to sleep, usually in a sitting position.

  3. #13
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    These all sound horrible and I'm so sorry for everyone going through this stuff. I have sleepless nights, but no panic attacks. Hope you find something that works for you Gregg and everyone else suffering from this.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  4. #14
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I think turning your phone and the news off early in the evening are two smart moves that should make a difference, Greg. I sure feel for you. I've had panic attacks before and they are unsettling to state it mildly. The first one I had was in a grocery store; suddenly I couldn't push the cart one more step, nor could I catch my breath. I left it there--full--and went home.

    I also have had too many sleepless nights with the wheels turning incessantly. I keep thinking I have these because I see my life as on the far end; I'm losing time. I worry about things I have little or no control of, and often wonder what the heck this life is all about because I replay all my mistakes on a repeat tape. It's nutty. But, that being said, I think when I am taking care of myself physically, eating right and exercising, avoiding negativity (news), and participating in life in a positive way--- that I have fewer of those nights. I wish fewer for you.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  5. #15
    Senior Member Greg44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    B12 is helpful for panic attacks.

    "Eating a plant-based diet makes you miss out on some essential nutrients. For instance, only animal protein contains substantial amounts of vitamin B12, while plant sources donít. The lack of vitamin B12 in the diet can have adverse effects on mental health, including panic attacks and depression. " (https://www.honeycolony.com/)

    My mother's standard advice when we were feeling peckish was "Eat a nice steak, dear." I thought she was daft, and I'm not particularly fond of steak, but it turns out that red meat, particularly, has mental health benefits, for at least some people.
    Yes, because I am vegetarian/vegan - I have taken B12 for years.

  6. #16
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    That sounds rough Greg. I have not mastered anxiety/racing thoughts, but have noticed that at night if I can find ways to slow down, it can really help. Immersing myself in a book for an hour or two before going to bed is one of the best solutions I have found. And this may not be for everyone, but it helps distract my mind to watch something while going to sleep. Usually I lean towards something droll like Bob Ross, but lately I've been watching X-Files. Something about stories of paranormal activity, often involving people often being indiscriminately killed, makes my mundane more controllable sources of anxiety feel less weighty, and helps relieve some of my existential distress. But that might just be me. Facing a source of anxiety is obviously better than avoiding it, and the more one avoids something the more it can escalate into anxiety. Not to say reading the news, especially before going to bed, is healthy, but confronting the recurrent themes within the news earlier in the day probably is. Yes the world has problems which the news likes to magnify, but it's often a version of reality meant to sell news, and as one person what can you do to help make the world a better place while still taking care of yourself?

  7. #17
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    Also, if it helps with getting to sleep/getting back to sleep. The past few years I developed sleep issues which no amount of relaxation/meditation/CBT therapy seems able to cure. Tried my darndest to avoid sleeping drugs, but am currently taking one tablet of doxylamine succinate at night. I also buy MgCl flakes and dissolve about 3 tbsp in a 1/2 gallon jug, and take a small swig of the stuff before going to bed and when I wake up in the night. Also take half of a 5 mg melatonin tab before going to bed and when I wake up in the night (cheaper then buying 2 mg tabs to just split the 5 mg tabs in half). I also sleep with deeply inserted low occlusion effect earplugs (E-A-R push-ins with part of the ends cut off so they don't stick out of my ears), blackout curtains with velcro sides that attach to the window frame for nearly complete blackness, and a second level of velcro blackout panels directly over the windows for good measure. Also try to ensure my daytime routine ensures I am tired at night, drink one cup of coffee in the morning to get me going, try to exercise during the day, and try to get as much safe exposure to sunlight as possible. I've also noticed that I don't sleep as well after eating spicy foods, particularly in the evening. I've noticed I sleep particularly well in cool temperatures (below 60 degrees, with warm bedding and sleepwear), but in south Louisiana I can only manage that during the winter months. I am usually in bed a total of 9-10 hours including watching a TV show, and about 7.5-8.5 of those hours I am sleeping. And the melatonin gives me lots of trippy dreams that probably also help relieve some of the anxiety (some therapeutic techniques for resolving trauma involve replicating REM sleep, the dream state in which the mind is relaxed and can more easily process trauma/anxiety).

  8. #18
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    Also, if smartphones are a source of anxiety (news, messages, etc.). You could try giving your smartphone a lobotomy. Could start by removing all non-essential apps (everything but phone, messages, maps, music, alarm clock, calendar, notes, a few other things; try to remove web browser and email apps if possible, instead checking email and using a web browser less frequently from a computer). Turn off all notification vibrations and sounds except for incoming calls, alarms, and calendar events. And simplify the user interface as much as possible through settings and user interface customization apps such as NOVA. And when at home try to keep your phone in the same place much like a land line, so you're not tempted to constantly pull it from your pocket to check for messages. The same philosophy can apply to computers--only install essential software, remove all bloatware, keep the interface as simple as possible. The goal in mind being to make technology less intrusive and overwhelming, while maximizing its purpose.

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  10. #20
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    Another natural alternative to help sleep is montmorency tart cherry juice. Also helps with arthritis. YLMV

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