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    Includes Expert Content
    Midnight Panic Attack
    An_241216 posted:
    After sleeping for 3 hours I woke up all of the sudden and my hearrate was extremely high and I was having troubles breathing. Was this an anxiety attack?
    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    It's hard to say what it might have been that awakened you and, since I'm not an M.D., I can't offer anything more. We do know that the brain produces substances during sleep which can bring on anxiety attacks, but this has to be checked out with your PCP. In fact, whenever anything like this happens you should always run it by your PCP just to be sure there are no problems that need medical attention.

    When I say all of this, I'm not indicating that you do have a medical problem. It may just have been something that happened and awakened you because even as we sleep our ears are listening to the environment. Sometimes the difference between what our ears hear and what our mind interprets is dramatic and can be seen in an anxiety—evoking manner. The mind has an incredible ability to turn sounds into stories and then translate that into some type of physical reaction.

    I'm sure your PCP will be able to help you with this and I do hope it is resolved quickly. We all need to have restful sleep.

    Dr. Farrell

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