I have a question about melatonin and nocturnal panic attacks. I’ve been taking 1mg of melatonin before bed for the past 6 months. It helps me to relax and get into a sleepy state before I go to sleep.
I think it might be triggering my nocturnal panic attacks though. Over the past month or so, I’ve been waking up after 1 hour of sleep, disoriented and sweaty, feeling pure fear pumping through my veins. The anxiety at night is just out of control.
I used to get panic attacks in my teen years so I am familiar with them and I use CBT techniques to overcome them.
Do you think it’s possible that the melatonin is making my nocturnal panic attacks worse? Any other tips to reduce anxiety at night?
Eva’s response: It’s possible. But I think you also need to consider other factors before you go blaming the melatonin for your nocturnal panic attacks.
Did anything happen in your life around the time your nocturnal panic attacks kicked off?
Was there a change in your before-bed routine?
Even something as minor as watching emotionally triggering content on Netflix or Facebook can affect your quality of sleep.
If you need help to jog your memory, take a journal and begin to write in it.
Set the intention that your issue from 1 month ago will come up and just begin to write.
You will be surprised what will come out onto the page when you create the space for it.
If something comes up during your journaling session which you know has triggered your nocturnal panic attacks, it’s really important that you acknowledge it, create space around it and release it.
Once you have sorted out any emotional issues, you can turn your attention to how you are taking your melatonin.
Best way to take melatonin is 1-2 hours before you intend to fall asleep.
On the nights I take melatonin, my routine goes something like:
8pm: Warm drink, melatonin tablet. Watch something gentle and uplifting on Netflix.
9pm: Tuck kids in bed, have a shower, read Jane Austen novel (I read them on rotation, at the moment I’m at Persuasion)
10pm: I begin to blink for longer and the words on the page begin to swim around, this signals to me that it’s time to switch off my lamp and go to sleep.
So you can try a routine like the one I’ve suggested above.
I created my Anxiety, Worry and Sleep Guided Meditation to help people just like you, who are having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep – and for those who are having their sleep interrupted by insomnia or nocturnal panic attacks.
Love + light
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