A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or anxiety. Most people usually dismiss an occasional nighttime panic attack as an outcome of stress or restlessness. However, frequent episodes of panic attack in sleep may indicate a serious underlying problem. Panic attacks in sleep can occur with no obvious trigger. Like daytime panic attack, nocturnal attacks can also produce alarming symptoms, including sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, flushing or chills, rapid heart rate and a sense of impending doom.
While panic attacks during night usually last only for a few minutes, the person experiencing the symptoms may take a while to go back to sleep. Nighttime panic attacks may also bother the victim during the day, thereby, affecting the quality of life. Although the actual causes of panic attacks are unknown, genetics, stress and certain changes in the brain functioning may contribute to the problem. Read more