Anxiety is a normal human emotion characterized by feelings of panic and worry. Nighttime is one of the most common times for anxiety. Depending on the cause, treatment may be based on medication, lifestyle, or therapy.
Anxiety occurs when stress continues for a long time, sometimes for no apparent reason.
Stressful situations like a first date or a job interview may make you feel anxious. But if these worries persist and even keep you awake at night, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Read on to find out what causes nighttime anxiety and how to get rid of it.
Why does it happen at night?
Anxiety can interfere with your daily and night life.
Studies show that lack of sleep can trigger anxiety. Research shows that people living with mental health conditions such as anxiety are at a higher risk of poor sleep.
That’s why addressing nighttime anxiety and sleep problems is an important step in improving your quality of life.
There are many symptoms of anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety differently. Symptoms can occur at any time of the day, in the morning or at night. Common symptoms of anxiety include:
feeling nervous, restless, or anxious
Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
Another symptom that people with anxiety can also experience is panic attacks. A panic attack is an overwhelming, intense fear that is often accompanied by physical symptoms. Common symptoms of a panic attack include:
a sense of impending doom
increased heart rate and chest pain
shortness of breath and sore throat
sweating, chills, hot flushes
dizziness or vertigo
feeling detached, or as if nothing
Symptoms occur at night
Sometimes you wake up from panic attacks at night. Nocturnal (nocturnal) panic attacks have the same signs and symptoms as regular panic attacks, but they happen while you are sleeping.
Studies show that 20-45% of people with panic disorder experience frequent panic attacks at night. If you have a panic attack at night, it can be difficult to relax and go back to sleep.
For some people, nighttime anxiety can lead to insomnia. Insomnia is defined as inability to sleep or persistent problems with sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can have negative health effects, including:
medical conditions such as high blood pressure and weakened immune systems
mental health conditions such as depression
There are many reasons why you may have an anxiety disorder. Often, people have a genetic susceptibility to anxiety, which can be linked to stressful life situations or experiences.
Other risk factors for anxiety include Trusted Source prescription drugs, herbal supplements, substance use disorders, and a history of trauma.
Also, anxiety can be caused by a medical condition. It includes:
irritable bowel syndrome
some brain tumors
Anxiety and sleep
Sleep problems and anxiety seem to go hand in hand. Lack of sleep leads to anxiety, while anxiety leads to insomnia.
You may feel like your mind is racing and you can’t stop thinking. You may focus on the worries of the day or anticipate items on the next day’s to-do list. This “stress” causes an increase in adrenaline in the body, which makes it very difficult to sleep.
According to population studies, 24-36 percent of people who can’t sleep at night have an anxiety disorder. In one self-reported study, researchers found that people with panic disorder were three times more likely to have sleep problems than those without.
In a small 2016 study, researchers looked at the relationship between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and sleep quality in people with anxiety. Researchers found that both sleep quality and sleep latency (time to fall asleep) improved in participants who responded to CBT.