Do you jolt awake in the middle of the night and wonder what just happened?
If you’re like me, it’s probably an anxiety attack that rattles through your sleeping body every now and then. The sensation is not a pleasant one. It takes a few moments for you to collect your thoughts and evaluate the situation. During those seconds, your mind races, your heart pounds and you feel hot.
One of the first things you might think is that you are experiencing a true health issue, a heart attack perhaps.
When these events happened to me recently, I truly did think it was some sort of health breakdown. After a brief review, I realized that whatever was wrong didn’t require an ambulance and I was able to go back to uneventful sleep.
The day I awoke to find myself talking and trying to climb up the wall, I realized that stress had taken over my life and my dreams. I knew it was directly associated with the serious issues I had to deal with at that time. Little did I know that it was just the beginning. It wasn’t long before they became full-blown anxiety attacks that usually turned into panic. They controlled the way I lived my life for the next five years.
If you have recurring nightmares, it might be an indication that you are also experiencing anxiety. To understand the relationship between anxiety and sleep disruptions, we need to take a look at anxiety itself.
What is anxiety? What causes it?
Anxiety is a state of nervousness or agitation, especially prevalent when we are under extreme stress or are facing a difficult situation in our lives that must be resolved. The more severe or imperative the issue, the more likely it is that we will have some sort of anxiety. It can be mild and cause us to feel tense and edgy, or it can be more dominant and interfere significantly with our lives. When anxiety wakes us at night, it’s a clear indication that the issue is having a serious effect on us.
Nervousness might be more than just a response to an immediate stressful situation. Researchers have discovered that nervousness is part of the cause of anxiety disorders. They also suggest that these traits run in families, predisposing us to having anxiety as a regular part of our lives. It’s the degree of anxiety that determines what steps you must take to minimize or eliminate the anxiety.
A certain degree of anxiety actually is a good thing. Without it, we might not recognize the true seriousness of a given situation, especially ones that could jeopardize our future. This type of anxiety is natural and expected. We wonder whether the new issue can be resolved, how badly it can harm us, and how we must proceed to prevent a disaster.
In many cases, we are able to quickly go beyond the initial anxiety trigger and immediately jump into preservation mode, rather than the fright/flight options that anxiety presents. When we calm down, we can work through the situation rationally, come up with a viable solution or two, and resolve the issue without further distress.
This is not always the case, however. For those of us who are naturally nervous and experience high levels of anxiety, breaking out of the fright/flight response can be more difficult. In such cases, it’s important to identify any early signs that our anxiety and nervousness are out of control.
If nightmares disturb your sleep, if you wake suddenly in the night, or if you tend to sleepwalk, these are important signs. Other symptoms can include restless legs, insomnia or sleep interference. Researchers have determined that people who experience an interruption in their sleep pattern are likely to see a dramatic increase in this disturbance later on. They also suggest that there is a high correlation between insomnia and anxiety.
Studies have been done that reveal a link between childhood sleep problems and adult anxiety. People who had sleep problems as children are more susceptible to anxiety disorders in early adulthood. I am evidence of that, for as a child I was often found walking around the house or talking in my sleep. I was surprised, however, when those experiences recurred well into my thirties.
This doesn’t mean there is no hope for people experiencing sleep disturbances and anxiety. Since anxiety can be directly attributed to the loss of sleep and interruptions during the night, remedying the anxiety likely will kill two birds with one stone.
Finding the right sources that can bring permanent solutions to those anxiety and panic attacks can be a challenge. Fortunately, the internet harbors reams of information to help you. With perseverance and by asking the right people and studying the best information, you can soon see an end to your anxiety.
You’ll see many offers of various medications guaranteed to cure you. You’ll come across some convincing sales pitches that offer the solution. They’ll even suggest you can be cured overnight. Keep in mind that it’s taken awhile for your body to develop anxiety and make it a regular part of your life. It’s not likely you can eliminate it that quickly.
In my case, I found the cure but it hasn’t eliminated anxiety from my life entirely. It taught me how to control it and live through it. The techniques enable me to quickly intercept the anxiety, thereby preventing a cycle of anxiety and panic from setting in. I have anxiety today. I had anxiety a week ago. The important thing is, each attack disappeared within less than a minute because I know what to do and am confident in my ability to overcome them quickly and effectively.
The right program will do the same for you. It might make your anxiety disappear completely, for we are all different, but you can be sure of one thing. It will enable you to live a much more comfortable and confident life, knowing you are in control.