Can a Good Night’s Sleep Help Prevent Panic Attacks?

When we are short on time, what is the first thing to go? It’?s sleep. We cut our rest short in order to get more things done.

Anyone can go without a lot of sleep for a day or two. Maybe you have an exam and have started the caffeine IV at a steady drip. Or maybe you’re worried about something and just can’t sleep. We all go through those times. However, when lack of sleep is routine, constant over a period of time, the body and mind will begin to suffer.

Sleep is even more crucial when we are dealing with stress. Stress often precedes panic attacks, so when you aren’t properly rested and can’t handle stress effectively your body will be more vulnerable to a panic attack.

The Benefit of Sleep

Why does the body need sleep? During the sleep phase, the body uses that time to repair the wear-and-tear of the day. Changes that occur on the cellular level from free radical damage due to stress, pollution, smoking and other factors are dealt with during sleep. Sleep also boosts your body?s immune system making it better able to fight off opportunistic invaders. That’s why when you are sick with a cold or flu, you sleep.

Sleep is also good for concentration. The brain needs a lot of oxygen. When you sleep, oxygen consumption from the rest of your body is minimal so that the brain can have full attention without competition. No one wants to go through their day in a fog, and sleeping a full night through will oxygenate your brain so you won’t have to.

Sleep not only repairs the body but the mind and gets you ready for another day in the trenches.

Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Panic Attacks

Partially, panic attacks are rooted in unreality. A situation, whatever it may be, has been magnified in such a way that your body starts seeing it as a danger and begins the ?fight or flight? response. That type of overreaction can be caused by the results of repeated lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep over time will bring on a host of symptoms including but not limited to:

  • Inability to concentrate or focus
  • Higher stress levels
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations (in prolonged cases)
  • Weight gain
  • Compromised immune system

When your defenses are down due to lack of sleep, you are more likely to suffer a panic attack. If you notice this is happening to you, seek medical attention. The stress level and panic attacks will only get worse until you shut the blinds, turn out the lights, and return to a good night?s sleep.



More health articles about: Mind & Body, Panic Disorders, SleepTags: ,