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Lack of Sleep, Panic Attacks, and Anxiety

Apr 09, 2024

Can lack of sleep cause anxiety or panic attacks? What's the relationship between these things? We dug into all this in a recent Joy Lab Podcast episode. Watch the episode and head below for more on this interesting topic. 



The Intricate Interplay of Sleep, Stress, and Anxiety

Panic attacks can be mysterious. They can come out of seemingly nowhere and there's not a lot of insight on the exact causes. What is clear is that there is an intricate interplay between sleep disturbances, stress, and anxiety. And these factors can increase our chance of experiencing a panic attack.

Additionally, disrupted sleep patterns can heighten our susceptibility to anxiety and panic attacks, which in turn can create a vicious cycle of escalating anxiety and sleep deprivation. These complexities and cycles are a key reason why seeking help to address panic attacks is so important.

Nocturnal Panic Attacks

It's also helpful to identify when a panic attack occurs, particularly if they happen at night. These sudden, nighttime panic attacks are often called nocturnal panic attacks. In these cases, sleep disorders are not often the cause and sleep may not have even been a problem prior to the experience. However, after a nocturnal panic attack, navigating sleep can be really hard. The good news is that in the case of nocturnal panic attacks, they can be a helpful diagnostic tool for a practitioner to identify a panic disorder and early treatment can be extremely helpful.  

Strategies for Healing and Hope

Amidst the shadows of panic attacks and sleep struggles, there is hope. These are very treatable conditions, but really require support. Seeking out support from a healthcare professional familiar with panic attacks and taking action with holistic approaches can create relief and healing. It will take some time and effort, but that effort will not only offer relief from symptoms, but will benefit other areas of your life.


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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program. See our terms for more information.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call the NAMI HelpLine: 1-800-950-6264 available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., ET. OR text "HelpLine" to 62640 or email NAMI at [email protected]. Visit NAMI for more. You can also call or text SAMHSA at 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.