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Develop rapid heart rate while sleeping
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Develop rapid heart rate while sleeping

I have had three episodes now during the middle of the night that are terrifying. (One was just while laying around) Out of a dead sleep I will awaken and my heart is racing so fast I can't even count the beats.  I start trembling and shivering and feel very weak.  The first time it only lasted about 5 minutes.  Last night it lasted almost 30-40 minutes before it would slow down.  I was so close to going to the ER, but was afraid the minute the ambulance showed up it would be normal again.  I had heard if you hold your nose and mouth shut and try to blow that causes your heartbeat to slow down...well that didn't work...Finally I decided to take a xanax and within about 2 minutes it slowed down.  I can't believe the xanax worked that quick, but after that I was ok and could go back to sleep.  This morning I awoke and feel like I have run a marathon.  Very shaky, weak feeling and tired.  This was so scary and I'm afraid it will happen again, but next time my husband might be out of town and I'll be alone.  I don't want to seem like a hypochondriac and run to the ER every time this happens but it really has me worried. I had a dr. appt last week and mentioned to him about the one when I was laying around and that it only lasted about 10 minutes and he said it was probably just an adrenalin rush, mostly because I do tend to have anxiety problems to start with.  What would cause this while sleeping.  I had no problems before going to bed.  How could anxiety bother you while sleeping?  I had worked in the yard earlier in the day and really pushed my heart rate up for a few minutes and had to go lay down and rest for a minute, but after that felt fine.  Could the exercise earlier in the day had caused this 12 hours later?  Can adrenaline really effect you in this way with rapid heart rate and palipatations versus being a true heart problem?  Sorry for all the questions, but I am so scared it's probably adding to my symptons now.  Please don't just tell me to go see my dr.  He thinks I'm a head case now as it is.  These are true symptons and it's not all in my head.  Thx for your advice.
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Avatar_n_tn
This rapid heart rate may be in response to adrenalin suring a dream that you have had and that things were exacerbated the more your worried about the symptoms.  You may continue to try the Xanax.  I wont tell you to see your md, but iff things continue or if you have symptoms (dizzyness) with this, i would recommend that in the future.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same thing happen to me, but add to it I get a warm sensation starting at my feet and moving through my body up to my head and my heart is racing.  I get up and walk around, but they seem to be lasting longer than they used to.  It makes me so nervous and I'm sure that adds to the problem.  I am completely worn out the next two days when this happens during the night.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you for sharing your experiences.
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Avatar_n_tn
When I read your post, I felt as if I could have written it myself.  In the past month I have had the exact same thing happen to me.  The first time it happened I had woken up just a few minutes earlier, I noticed that my heart skipped a beat then went into a very rapid heartbeat, it lasted 17 minutes.  Then  in the past couple weeks, I have awoken twice with a rapid heartbeat, it was beating  very fast and hard, the type of beat you get when you have just finished exercising.  Both of these times it lasted between 3-5 minutes, it terrified me so bad, and I am sure that my increased anxiety at this  time was only making the matter worse.  During these times I did not experience any other symptoms such as dizziness, chest pains or shortness of breath.  The rest of the day I felt kind of tired, I think when you get something that scares you as much as this, it can make you feel worn out.  I'm 36 and I try to take good care of myself by eating a low fat - high fiber diet, I do not drink, smoke, or have any caffiene in my diet.  The last time I had my cholesteral checked about 6 months ago it was 140.  From what I have read it seems like anxiety and stress can cause this.  I have always been a VERY anxious person, there are days where as soon as I wake up I feel jittery, those are the days I try to  keep busy.  But I always feel like I am "on edge" for no particular reason.  I am not on medication for my anxiety, I try to just deal with it, but some days are hard.  But ever since I have had these episodes of rapid heartbeat, I have been extremely anxious.  I have family that live about 2 hours away, I would drive there every week, but since this has happened, I am worried about driving that far.  As I mentioned, I don't get any dizziness, but if the rapid heartbeats happened while I was driving I might get so scared I'd bring on a panic attack or something.  I know exatly what you are going through with the anxiety and worry that accompanies this. I wake up every morning feeling like I am waitng for something to happen, and when another day passes and I have no problems, i feel better.  I just wanted to let you know you are not alone with what you are going through, I think that helps alot.  I know after I read your post and many other on this site, I felt much better.  If you want to communicate further about this feel free to email me at ***@****  
                                            Good Luck,
                                                 Lynn
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Lynn,

Thank you for sharing your experiences.
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Avatar_n_tn
O my God...I cannot believe people are experiencing the exact same attacks I have been.  I have never written in a forum such as this but I am baffled by these experiences because I have been experiencing the exact same thing.  The last three night I have woken to go to the bathroom with my heart over 100bpm (easily) and have gone into full blown panic attacks because of it.  I was diagnosed with Supra Ventricular Tachychardia four years ago but this seems different.  When I get the tachychardia I usually feel a skipped beat and then my hear will go off into an irregular fast rate for anywhere from one to thirty minutes.  But what's been happening in my sleep is clearly different.  It's my natural heart beat but just extremely rapid.  I have been precribed ativan for my anxiety issues in the past but rarely take it.  I took a half when this happened and my heart settled down along with the rest of my body which makes me think this is definitely anxiety related.  It is the scariest feeling in the world and I too am scared to be alone at night or drive far distances since this has been happening.  I've avoided the ER thus far since I see a cardilogist every 6 months and have been reassured my heart is fine- but after all the tests (echo stress, echocardiogram etc...) I am still not convinced:(  It does make me feel better to know others have had the same experiences.  I'm still so scared now to sleep because of it- it seems to happen all the time now.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello all
I have been experiencing this for 2 months and yes it is terrifying! Mine has been related to iron deficient anemia but I have been taking the iron for 3 weeks now and the symptoms have seemed to return with a vengeance iwas up all nite!  I do drink coffee and smoke but I cannot do it anymore it is too bad I hope the symptoms go away as suddeny as they came.  My doc upped my iron doseage.  Good luck everyone my heart is racing right now!
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Avatar_m_tn
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Avatar_f_tn
i have anxiety probs too and im not medicated either and also wake upto a rapid heart rate! evn if i nap thru tha day sumtimes its only happend a few times but enuf to get me worried.. i consider myself to be relativly stress free at tha moment n not feelin anxious at all n iv jus woken from a day nap wit a rapid heart n its only jus slowed down after bout 20 mins, i try not ti stress n think why its happening while its happening cos thatl end in a panic attack for sure! does anyone no why this happens? by reading all these comments it def seems anxiety related.. good to no im not tha only one thinkin im gona have a heartattack n die!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey Im having these exact same things happen to me I awoke after a somewhat intense dream and I shot up out of bed with my heart beating so fast and hard that it was the worst pain Ive ever felt which lasted for 5-6 minutes and my heart continued to race for 30 minutes and slowed after controled breathing. Im only 16 male and in very good shape working out and runing every day should I be concerned???????
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Has anyone come up with a solution?
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm 31 and have been experiencing these exact same problems.  I experience these rapid heart beats mostly at nite when I try to rest and fall asleep.  Sometimes it happens out of nowhere, and other times,I think "what if is gonna happen now?" And sure enought, just by thinking about it, it happens! I feel that I do tend to be a little anxious at times, and I do get stressed...I'm a mom of 2 young boys,both under 10 yrs old, and I'm also a student.  I've been trying to maintain good health and an excercise regiment, I run 2 miles every day, and eat a low cal,low carb,high protein diet...why is this happenning to me? I feel paranoid that I may be ill...I haven't seen a doc in 3 yrs since  my insurance is expired and I can't afford any right now...that being said, who knows what could be wrong.  I'm really scared. One things for sure, it does feel good to know I'm not alone.  
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Ive experienced all these symptoms! Had all the tests, scans, xrays, you can think of done to my heart to find out it was all anxiety related! I thought I was going to die quite a few times. Since being on medication (prozac), I have not had near the amount of problems.
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Avatar_f_tn
I started having the problem of rapid heartbeat after awakening... I think it may be due to Sleep Apnea. I called my cardiologist's office today to ask about getting referred to a sleep clinic and told them what I had been going through with the rapid heartbeats and they told me the cardiologist would give me a phone call in the next day or
two. I do believe I have Sleep Apnea, but after reading posts about the rapid heartbeat and anxiety... I think it may be an anxiety issue ( especially since this seemed to start after I started having a lot of problems, anxiety and even panic attacks that started in November of last year.
Hope things get better for you, Linda
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Avatar_f_tn
hey i am 16 and have woken up with rapid heartbeats twice over 200 per minite.I an an athlete and have taken all heart tests and nothing found like holter ,triplex physikal exam
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Avatar_f_tn
when i had the rapid heartbeats i was dreaming the same dream twice some guys chacing me.when i was dreaming my shelf to be chaced i put my hand in my chest in my dream and  feel i was exhausted but the joke is i was feeling like this in reality and hearing my heartbeat in dream.sometimes 1 time per week i have a kind of arrythmia feeling in the chest my heart skipping a beat and after this nothing happend.I have taken all heart tests because i am an athlete and nothing found.
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Avatar_f_tn
when i had this two  rapid heartbeats i was not scared and nervous but feeling i was running for hours.after this two rapid heartbeats i have never had something like this but i was feeling terible sometimes until now for about 4 months.I am feeling tired in the chest not pain and very strange my head like i want to sleep or faint but never faint.It is very awful that feeling in this case u want to die.my doctor nothing found me i passed the physical exam with 100% success and said that this symtoms (symptoms) i had
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Avatar_f_tn
is from stress but i am very relaxed.Can u be nervous without feeling nothing?my doctor said that many teenagers have these symptoms because of the age and hormones .i do not know can someone answer me what i have?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 38 & also been have theses attacks during the night. Ive dealt with anxiety,& panic for 15 years & have learned to control them without medication, exercise is key. But this a whole new animal how do u control them when your dead asleep? I also fear I am dying or there is something very wrong, but I also have been tested & even went to the ER. But they found nothing. Except my liver enzymes are hi which is from drinking, because of the stress & worry of these attacks. So I have started acupunture a few weeks ago, not sure but its seems to help. I am also going for hypnosis today. I am at my wits end with this I pray it works. Its starting to affect everything. During these times I live alone with my German Shepherd, so playing ball with her helps & I even got a weighted hula hoop, its very distracting from the episodes, good exercise & makes u feel young..& laugh at yourself. So I do this until I feel my body can rest again. There is also a homepathic spray "rescue remedy", you can get from GNC or health food, it seems to help & work fast. Im trying to go this route, because I refuse to be medicated. Fingers crossed. Also FYI, anxiety tends to show up later when u are past prior traumatic or stressful situations, just speaking from experience. hope everyone gets better. Nice to know we are not alone
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