Nighttime (nocturnal) panic attacks occur with no obvious trigger and awaken you from sleep. As with a daytime panic attack, you may experience sweating, rapid heart rate, trembling, shortness of breath, heavy breathing (hyperventilation), flushing or chills, and a sense of impending doom. These signs and symptoms are quite alarming and can mimic those of a heart attack or other serious medical condition. Although nocturnal panic attacks usually last less than 10 minutes, it may take a while to calm down and go back to sleep after you have one.
It’s not known what causes panic attacks. Underlying factors may include genetics, stress and certain changes in the way parts of your brain work. In some cases, an underlying condition, such as a sleep disorder, can cause panic-like signs and symptoms. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms and whether you should have any tests for a possible underlying condition.
Treatment including medications and mental health counseling (cognitive behavioral therapy) can help prevent panic attacks — and reduce their intensity when they do occur.


The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you.
Also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to gradually return to the activities you’ve avoided because of anxiety. Through this process, your symptoms improve as you build upon your initial success.
Several types of medications are used to treat anxiety disorders, including those below. Talk with your doctor about benefits, risks and possible side effects.
-Antidepressants. These medications influence the activity of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) thought to play a role in anxiety disorders. Examples of antidepressants used to treat anxiety disorders include fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), imipramine (Tofranil), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR). Citalopram (Celexa) and escitalopram (Lexapro) also can be effective, but dosages of 40 milligrams (mg) a day of citalopram or 20 mg a day of escitalopram warrant discussion of risks versus benefits. Your doctor also may recommend other antidepressants.
-Buspirone. An anti-anxiety medication called buspirone may be used on an ongoing basis. As with most antidepressants, it typically takes up to several weeks to become fully effective.
-Benzodiazepines. In limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe one of these sedatives for relief of anxiety symptoms. Examples include alprazolam (Niravam, Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan). Benzodiazepines are generally used only for relieving acute anxiety on a short-term basis. Because they can be habit-forming, these medications aren’t a good choice if you’ve had problems with alcohol or drug abuse.
Video: Ultrasound Test


A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.
Left untreated, panic attacks and panic disorder can result in severe complications that affect almost every area of your life. You may be so afraid of having more panic attacks that you live in a constant state of fear, ruining your quality of life.
Complications that panic attacks may cause or be linked to include:
Development of specific phobias, such as fear of driving or leaving your home
-Avoidance of social situations
-Problems at work or school
-Increased risk of suicide
or suicidal thoughts
Alcohol or substance abuse
-Financial problems

Video: Ultrasound Test:


Nightmares are pretty much the same as dreams: they happen when we are asleep, and our subconscious minds conjure them up. Except, what sets nightmares apart from dreams, is the fact that nightmares are never happy experiences. Instead, they are always dark, scary, and maybe even evil in nature. And, nightmares can be so disturbing that they often wake us up suddenly from our sleep. When we do wake up from having a nightmarish dream, we are usually nervous, scared, or shaken up. Our hearts are racing and it’s difficult to fall back asleep.
Children are thought to experience nightmares more than adults do. Children around the ages of three to five are the most susceptible to these nighttime scares. Stressful events such as being left alone, watching a monster movie on television, being in the dark, etc, can easily create fears in a young child. The stress and fears can then manifest into a nightmare.
Nightmares can typically be classified into four categories. That is, there are four usual themes to our nightmares. Either we are being chased, we are falling, we are being attacked, or, we are stuck.
No matter which theme your nightmare follows, experts say that our nightmares are caused by stress in our lives. Experience a traumatic experience or a stress situation, and you’re likely to have a nightmare about it.
The experts also say that nightmares are “red flags” from our subconscious minds. Something is wrong in our lives. Therefore, our subconscious minds are trying to alert us to the fact that we have an unresolved problem. A nightmare is the mind’s way of bringing the problem to our attention so we can resolve it in real life.
So, although these nighttime experiences aren’t pleasant, if you analyze your nightmares, you may be able to find out how to stop from having them. For example, if you have a nightmare where you are falling, it can mean that you’re worried. The falling in your nightmare may represent you inner need to feel free and unburdened. If you have a scary dream where you are trapped, you may feel “trapped” in real life.

Another example is a dream that you can’t move your body in, or that you can only move in slow motion, this could represent your feelings that your life is stuck in a rut. If you can’t speak in your nightmares, this could mean that you feel you can’t express your inner feelings.
One of the most popular nightmares that people have is one in which they are naked or not fully dressed in public. Having nothing to do with sexuality or the love of streaking, these nightmares usually mean we feel unprepared or are “not up to par”. And, we’re afraid that other people will see our inadequacies. Since the others in a dream such as this don’t notice our nakedness, this means that we are looking at ourselves in a way that nobody else is.
So, nightmares are not really terrifying experiences that are conjured up by our subconscious in order to scare the hell out of us. Instead, they are our mind’s way of alerting us to a problem we have. Our subconscious mind is telling us that we have a problem that needs to be resolved. Or, that the steps we are taking to try and end the problem aren’t working. Therefore, we need to rethink the problem and come up with a new way to solve it. Once the problem in your daily life is solved, your nightmares should end.

Sleep Terror Disorders

Also called “night terrors”, these episodes are characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to attain full consciousness. The person may abruptly exhibit behaviors of fear, panic, confusion, or an apparent desire to escape. There is no response to soothing from others. They may experience gasping, moaning or screaming. However, the person is not fully awake, and once the episode passes, often returns to normal sleep without ever fully waking up. In most cases, there is no recollection of the episode in the morning.
Like sleepwalking, night terror episodes usually occur during NREM delta (slow wave) sleep. They are most likely to occur during the first part of the night. The timing of the events helps differentiate the episodes from nightmares, which occur during the last third of the sleep period.
While sleep terrors are more common in children, they can occur at any age. Research has shown that a predisposition to night terrors may be hereditary. Emotional stress during the day, fatigue or an irregular routine are thought to trigger episodes. Ensuring a child has the proper amount of sleep, as well as addressing any daytime stresses, will help reduce terrors.

Anxiety Increases Risk of Stroke

The negative health effects of anxiety, such as increased coronary heart disease risks, have long been documented and accepted in the medical community. But now, research suggests that individuals with high levels of anxiety have an increased risk for stroke.
The researchers, who are from the University of Pittsburgh, published the results of their study in the journal Stroke.
They say that anxiety disorders – characterized by fear, unease and worry – impact nearly 20% of US adults each year and often last for at least 6 months.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops, and the American Stroke Association says this cuts off oxygen and nutrients that are vital for the brain. When this happens, brain cells die, and depending in which side of the brain the stroke occurs, effects can include paralysis, vision or speech problems, memory loss and behavioral changes.

How to Help Someone Having an Asthma Attack?

Our existence depends on breath and an acute asthma attack can make it almost impossible to breathe. No wonder these attacks are so scary for both the affected person and for onlookers.Knowing the basics of asthma treatment is essential when trying to help someone experiencing an attack.
Maybe you are having dinner with a friend and all of a sudden, he or she looks panic stricken and gasps for breath.
Do you know how to deal with this situation? If you are able to provide the right asthma treatment, it might possibly save someone’s life.
How to Help Someone Having an Asthma Attack:
1-During a bout of asthma, patients find it easier to breathe while sitting up than lying down. So help them get into a comfortable sitting position.
2-Most asthma patients know what they need to do to deal with an attack. So it is best to ask them. Ask if they have an inhaler and where it is. If they don’t have one, ask them if you should call for help. Many asthma patients carry not only an inhaler, but a written instruction card as well.
3-Help them use the inhaler. An inhaler is designed to deliver a specific dose of asthma medication. The medication relaxes the patient’s airways and helps restore normal breathing.
4-Once you’ve given medication, observe the patient for several minutes. Is it getting easier for him to breathe?
5-If it appears that they are not responding to the medication within ten minutes, call an ambulance. And continue to deliver about four puffs of medication every five minutes while waiting for the ambulance. The medication will help prevent the asthma attack from getting worse even if it doesn’t seem to provide immediate relief.
6-Stay calm throughout the episode. This will help the patient remain calm as well. If they panic, it will worsen the asthma attack and make it far more difficult for them to breathe. So talk to the person calmly, to reinforce the feeling that everything is under control. This is vitally important.

Sleeping Time is Hormone Time!

During our waking hours, the body burns oxygen and food to provide energy. This is known as a catabolic state, in which more energy is spent than conserved, using up the body’s resources. This state is dominated by the work of stimulating hormones such as adrenaline and natural cortisteroids. However, when we sleep we move into an anabolic state – in which energy conservation, repair and growth take over. Levels of adrenaline and corticosteroids drop and the body starts to produce human growth hormone (HGH).
A protein hormone, HGH promotes the growth, maintenance and repair of muscles and bones by facilitating the use of amino acids (the essential building blocks of protein). Every tissue in the body is renewed faster during sleep than at any time when awake.
Melatonin is another hormone produced to help us sleep. Secreted by the pineal gland deep in the brain, it helps control body rhythms and sleep-wake cycles.Levels of melatonin rise as the body temperature falls, to encourage feelings of sleepiness. The opposite occurs to wake us up.
It is mostly during sleep that the sex hormone testosterone and the fertility hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone and leuteinising hormone, are secreted.

A Panic Attack when your Sleeping?

Panic attacks are intensely frightening events. They can hit you at any moment, and when they do they can completely wipe out your day. Many people find that the only time they get a break from either panic attacks or thinking about panic attacks is when they go to sleep.

But for some people, the fear doesn’t stop there. While not as common, some people experience panic attacks while sleeping. This terrifying event will throw you awake and cause you immense fear and distress, but as usual the only thing that’s wrong is that you suffer from anxiety.
Not very much is known about precisely what causes panic attacks at night, but we know that the brain doesn’t turn off during sleep. It’s reasonable to assume that the process is pretty much the same as the process of a daytime attack, just that it happens in a less conscious manner. And the symptoms of a nocturnal attack are pretty much the same symptoms you get during the day.