Night panic attacks are particularly vicious, but they are simply one version of panic attacks and they can be treated in the same way that any other strong phobia or panic disorder is treated. Isn't that good news? I know it might seem hopeless, but you can get through this. You will relax again, laugh again, sleep again, feel normal again, feel connected again. I know it can be done because I've been through it all and have come out the other side intact. I'm here to tell you you're very close to getting there yourself.
Treating panic attacks comes down to four major areas, diet, exercise, emotional health, and panic attack management. All of these areas are important so it's vital to work on all of them. Start slowing and work up to stronger and stronger levels. It's good to keep a journal of your progress.
I won't go too deeply into diet because there's a lot of good information out there on right nutrition. But I will give you this advice, cut out coffee, cut down on alcohol use, eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, and supplement your diet with a good magnesium supplement. All of these things will start moving you in the right direction, you can fine tune as you go along. Also a good protein powder is a great idea, because neurotransmitters which keep you calm are created from protein. Protein, magnesium, vitamin C, and the B vitamins actually manufacture serotonin. You don't need Prozac, just the building blocks to create your own brain chemicals.
Exercise is a magic bullet if there has ever been a magic bullet. It does not matter what you do, but you need to do something. Run, walk, lift weights, do sports, tai chi, yoga, etc. Do it on a regular basis and you will reap rewards far greater than the time that you put in doing the work. It is simply a miracle.
Your emotional health is the foundation of staying calm and not having night panic attacks. If you're cooped up all the time and not sharing your inner thoughts and feelings, especially the negative ones, you'll be overwhelmed. Anyone will be. Social connections are what it means to be a human being. So, share yourself and you life with others. When you're feeling down, help somebody else, and you'll realize your problems are small and totally manageable.
Panic attack management is all about learning the tools to actually stop panic attacks as the occur. You can actually learn how to do this and it's life having a safety net as you walk through your life. Can you imagine having the power to turn off your panic attack as soon as it hits? You'll feel on top of the world!
The author is a recovered night panic attack sufferer who doesn't fear the darkness anymore.