People with anxiety disorders can sometimes be awakened at night by panic attacks. Most nighttime panic attacks aren’t caused by dreams. Recordings of sleep show that most panic attacks take place during the early sleep phase, not during the REM phase associated with dreams. This is different from nightmares, which happen during the second half of the night. It’s important not to go to bed fearing you might have a panic attack. Go to bed confident that if one should arise, you’ll successfully deal with it. That way, you don’t put yourself under pressure to NOT have a panic attack. Many panic attacks are experienced at the very moment of falling asleep.
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