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Reasons for Panic Attacks And Disorders at Night!

Panic Attacks During Night

What are the Reasons for Anxiety Attacks at Night?


It would be interesting to note that almost 50% of people, who suffer from panic disorders, complain of panic attacks while they are in the nocturnal mode. But in reality only 10% of all such panic attacks happen during the night while the rest of the attack usually take place during the day time.

However, patients continue to remember these nocturnal panic attacks and express lot of concern about the same.  The problem with people who believe in such nocturnal panic attacks is that they expect the worse to happen such as heart attacks or stroke which however very rarely happens.

There are many panic order patients who feel that their attacks are caused by dreams. This is not true because when doctors show records of sleep polysomnorgraphia, it has been found that most of the panic attacks occur during the early sleep phase (Phase II). It does not take place during the REM phases which is usually associated with dreams. So there is big difference betweens such attacks and nightmares.

Many nightmares occur during the REM phase and usually during the second half of the night. Hence, as normal human beings we are able to remember these nightmares even long after it has occurred.

There is another special type of sleeping disorder which is called as Pavor nocturnus, which is very common amongst children. This disorder is usually associated with sudden awakening accompanied by screaming and crying. They also exhibit anxiety symptoms and vegetative symptoms like palpitations of the heart, breathing that is short and also sweating. This type of sleep disorders usually occur during the deep phases of sleep or
what is known as Phase IV.

Arousals which are caused by sleep apnea are not accompanied by anxiety symptoms. However, such disorder could point to some other problems such as heart frequency not being in order or due to increased blood pressure. In fact this type of apnea could be the body’s natural defense mechanism against a particular dysfunction of some organ of the body.


Though the exact causes of panic attacks are not known, it could be due to increase of CO2 concentration which is also referred to as False Suffocation Alarm Hypothesis. In fine, it would not be wrong to say that consumption of alcohol or some drugs could cause such panic attacks leading to higher arousal.

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