Something strange happens to me now and then. I will be falling asleep or asleep for no more than an hour when something sends my body bolting upright. I awaken as I am forced upwards, gasping for breath with the whole bed shaking from tachycardia - it is beating that fast and hard. Once I almost fainted within the first thirty seconds. When I wore the holter the cardiologist said I was having a tachycardia but didn't know what triggered it. Has anyone experienced this during that early phase of sleep (REM?) I wake up disoriented and sure I am dying and eventually I realize "oh, it's just that thing happening again". It's very terrifying when it happens though, especially when I am so out of it and can't think straight. By the way, I have never had tachycardia when I am awake (knock on wood).
mmmm sounds like sleep apnea to me.. This is a disorder where you stop breathing in your sleep for short periods of time (Before you freak out its very common and will not hurt you). I wake up with a start, gasping frequently, because i have pretty bad sleep apnea, but im still alive. the tachycardia is probably from the shock of waking up so fast not being able to breathe right away.
I have this same symptom , I will drift off to sleep , then suddenly be awaken gasping for air with palpatations , happened 10 times in a row one night.Somtimes I drift off to sleep , and I am awaken with a shaking arm or leg. I dont get it , doc says its Anxiety but I dont buy it.
I have had this happen to me too mumerous times. Sometimes when I wake with the jolt my heart rate will be bradycardic then goes tachycardic. Sometimes it makes me feel absolutely terrible for about half an hour, especially if I was in a deep sleep. I too also think that I am dying when it happens and it takes a while for me to calm down. I have been advised that it is probably sleep apnea and intend to get this checked out in a couple of months - doctor does not seem concerned. What I have found that helps is sleeping on my stomach.
wow, can't believe you guys suffer from similar symptoms as me during sleep!!
i am always waking up panicking within the first 2 hours of sleep. sometimes i jolt awake but have no idea why. most of the times i jolt awake feeling like my heart has stopped or it's beating way too slow. as soon as i awake palpataions start.
i also have svt and have jolted awake like this and had an svt attack straight away. why does it only seem to happen during the first stage of sleep??
sb, how do you know you where having an svt attack? Svt during sleep is EXTREMELY rare.. and when i say extremely rare, i mean EXTREMELY rare lol..What Seemsto be happening is alot of people suffering from a very common condition called sleep apnea, and working themselves into a panic over it..
I did read that there is something about the transition into REM (probably getting this wrong) that triggers the tachycardia in some people. It's just so weird. I did mention sleep apnea to my doctor and he was skeptical.
My husband has sleep apnea. He wakes up countless times during the night and snores incredibly loudly. He has a C-Pap machine but doesn't use it. The main problems he had from it were the predictable. Drowsy, taking naps, lack of attentiveness, car accidents, poor memory recall etc.
He's not fat, but when he gains any weight it's always right in his abdomen, After he started running for exercise the condition improved greatly.
the reason i'm saying i have svts at night is because i have had svt attacks during the day which have been confirmed by docs. I usually wake up within the first hour or two of sleep and my heart starts racing very fast and no matter how much i relax it is hard to slow it down. can beat like crazy for about 20 mins is it possible for this to just be sinus tachy? can your heart beat as fast as 180bpm without it being an svt attack? Someone else mentioned that svt at night is rare, what is the reason for this?? i hope you are right!!
Look up noctournal panic attack. Google it or whatever they do. I used to get that, and the culprit was the noctournal panic attacks. Extremely unpleasant. I used to take 0.5mg of Ativan at night, which cured it, and eventually it went away as I got a little older. I can't say that's what yours is, but you described by symptoms to a tee.
i have been told that my svt is probably triggered by pvcs, i don't understand how but, i had a 24 hr ecg recorder which didn't catch svt but confirmed that i was having pvcs at night too, that's another reason i think that it is svt. i hope you are right and its sinus tachy!! in your opinion could my heart remain at about 180bpm for about 20 mins? i'm so confused, all the night time tachys have always only happened within 2 hours of sleep does that indicate sinus tachy perhaps?
yes, sinus tach can easily get up to 180 sustained.. One of the main reasons svt's at night are so rare, is because svt in itself is largly triggered by an already elevated heart rate, due to exersize, stress, adrenline, dehydration, anything really.. At night the heart rate slows significantly, so the changes of an svt attack drop significantly. The body is asleep and has much less of a chance of getting into its own way.. It would probably be a good idea for you to get another event monitor, to document exactly what it is you're feeling at night. Its possible its svt, but extremely unlikely. If you're having night time anxiety, this can be treated and you can finally get some rest!
absolutely sinus tach can sit around 180 or above for 20 minutes or even considerably longer.. Yes palps can trigger an SVT attack, because a premature beat is more likely to travel down the reentry loop in your heart, but in the context of sleep, svt in any circumstance is rare.. Call your doctor and tell Him/Her whats happening, and if you need to, ask for an event monitor to make sure that what you are feeling isnt SVT, althought i think you're in the clear.. It might offer a little peace of mind. Most doctors dont become concerned about the heart rate during rest/sleep until it reaches 200+, so you might have to push for the monitor, but i think you should definatly discuss it with a cardiologist or electrophysiologist.
Thanks collegegirl i'm going to try an get an event monitor. i just want your opinion on something. I never used to be that afraid of the svt until i started getting tons of pvcs. like you, my doc said that a pvc can trigger the svt( i still don't understand how this happens???) I have had an echo done which was normal and a 24hr ecg which showed 54 pvcs and my doc says i don't need to worry.
However, the reason i am so afraid now is because someone who works in a hospital once told me that because i have svt and pvcs i am more likely to get a dangerous arrythmia, (he is not a doc or nurse but does have some sort of medical training but i don't know what)he told me that if the pvcs can trigger svt they can trigger other arrhythmias too. since then i constantly live in fear. In fact about 4 weeks ago i had an svt attack but i was convinced it was vt and scared the life out of my poor hubby! i used to be able to control the svt at home by relaxing and eventually the attack would stop, but now i can't do that and make it worse by panicking. as soon as it starts it i start calling for an ambulance and telling them i am having a vt attack!! do you think i am just worrying for no reason at all?
Do get the event monitor. It helps the Dr to see what is going on.
Also, do try to be positive. I have noticed if I try to take a deep breath when I wake up, slow down, don't jump out of bed in fear and just try to relax I may be able to squelch it.
I have it. It's more than tachycardia, its supraventricular tachycardia (160 to 180 bpm). It's awful. It started after my gallbladder surgery three months ago. All of a sudden I wake up with a rapid heart rate, then it gets very fast. I have to stick my face in a bucket of ice water to get it to stop. I have been to the ER twice with this and they assure me it's scary but not life threatening. I wonder if they have ever had it.
I have worn a pulse oximeter for sleep apnea and my oxygen saturation stayed right up there. My cardiologist told me that sleep apnea causes a deceleration of heart rate and ruled that out.
I can't drink alcohol, have caffeine or eat any chocolate.
I have seen two cardiologists now, had two types of stress tests and am now on VerelanPM.
I am scared to death to go to sleep! I am not taking this lying down (pun intended). I am off to the Houston Med Center for further evaluation.
I have similar symptoms. I will be in the sleep/awake stage and will have incredible chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and trouble breathing. Sometimes it's just rapid heartbeat. I'm not overweight and I do not have high BP. I do not snore. I'm also young I'm only 22. I am stressed so I thought I was having sleep panic attacks. I'm just scared I will develop an arrythmia and die.
This is the first place I've ever found where more than one person described the exact same symptoms as me. Perhaps it's because the original question articulated the problem well, or perhaps I should have been looking at tachycardia earlier. In any event, this is not sleep apnea and you are not "freaking out." Know that there are others who are experiencing the same thing. The problem, in my view, is that we are few in number and, as far as I can tell, no one has defined and named this syndrome yet.
Some decades ago, for example, most doctors would have told a sufferer of obstructive sleep apnea that his or her problem was insomnia or too much stress. The patient would have been given sleeping pills, etc., while today this problem is better understood and treated with mouthpieces, CPAP machines, etc. Looking back, Howard Hughes was a classic sufferer of OCD, but that ailment wasn't sufficiently understood during his time. In my experience, that's where we are with the problem being described on this page.
Here is my own story: I first began to wake up suddenly (usually bolting upright as others have said and often screaming and/or gasping) in the summer of 2006. My heart would be in a panic after that happened and it would be difficult to relax, let alone get back to sleep. The experience is so traumatic it leaves one terrified. It happens, as described above, just as I am falling asleep. I would say in my case it's even less than an hour. If I can get half an hour into sleep, I'm fine for the night. I've watched this happen for over three years now and can say that it is almost certainly the transition into REM that triggers the horrifying event.
I went to a number of doctors and the pigeon hole they were most likely to want to put my problem in was sleep apnea. I understand the doctors' perspective--they listen to symptoms and try to match the pattern with something that they know or have heard of. (I'm sure that more often than not patients are confuse their own symptoms, but it was frustrating for me because I had kept a very careful watch over what was happening yet the doctor's tendency was to minimize certain aspects and stress others to make my problem fit something in their books.) Sleep apnea typically involves a patient waking up throughout the night often without realizing it. As the posters on this page know, WE REALIZE IT, plus if we can get through the first hour, we'll sleep till morning without incident.
I did at least three sleepovers where I was monitored (and at one of these, I actually had the bolt upright event happen when at the beginning) but these sessions are geared toward genuine sufferers of sleep apnea and that's what the technicians are measuring, so in the end my ailment wasn't really understood despite careful explanations and I was given drugs and told to sleep on my stomach, use a special pillow, close my mouth, irrigate nasal passages, etc. The one clinic that witnessed the bolt upright event explained that I have mild sleep apnea but am hyper sensitive to not breathing when I'm first falling asleep so they suggested a sleeping pill to get me through this part of the night.
Anyone that's suffered through this knows that you don't want to be drugged when it happens. My paternal grandmother actually died in her sleep from a heart attack and it occurs to me that if this horrific shock that we get when this happens triggered a heart attack in one of us, the actual cause would not be understood even today. When I told a doctor in the UK of this, he wrote me a prescription for valium, thinking I was overly stressed out. Needless to say, I never took the valium. Sadly, doctors don't know what to do when they hear stories like these and typically look for ways to calm us down and ease the terror, rather than treat the thing that is causing the terror.
Is there anyone out there who has found a doctor that understands this problem? I would jump on a plane and go to anywhere in the world to meet someone specializing in treating what ails the people on this page. Is there any young med school graduate who would like to build a career on helping us and defining what we have? You can name the syndrome after yourself if you want--just giving it a name would be a great benefit to everyone who this happens to. I've suffered with it for three and a half years and have found people who describe similar symptoms here and there around the internet. If you have this problem, you are not misunderstanding what is wrong with you, you are not crazy, you don't have something like sleep apnea which you're just stressing out about. My belief is you are suffering from something that has yet to be written about in the medical books. ---Dan
Well put dddddano! I have had the same experience for 17 years now. It used to occur about four times a year. Now it occurs 4+ times a month. I wake up an hour after going to sleep with heart rate from 150-200 bpm (caught on event monitors). Electrophysiologist wanted to put me on a beta blocker but said these episodes are coming from the normal sinus node of heart. I have previously been diagnosed with panic attacks--PLEASE- this is not a panic attack. I just want to know what causes this and fix it! I have not done a sleep study because I really don't think I have sleep apnea (no snoring). I am tired of going to all these doctors that do not have a clue.
My first experince of racing pulse that woke me up was some 7 years ago. And I think I have figured out the reason. It started shortly after I had begun using a cell phoe. It was easy to control it with magnesium after I had put a radiation protection on my cell phone, and when it came of last April, it got out of control. I have almost gone to the ER. It took me more than a month to put all the pieces together. I have heard that cordless phones are also a bad choice, but what isn't these days? I guess that these impulses can mess with our brain activity. But were you using any of theese 17 years ago? And what about radiations around us? Some of us are probably more susceptible than the others. Just a wild guess, or not?
I am happy to have found others with these symptoms, however, mine is a little bit different; I, too am awakened by my heart beginning to race just as I'm drifting off to sleep, but I never feel panicked or terrified - never bolt upright, never gasp for air. I just feel slightly curious and slightly annoyed that I'm being awakened by this "thing that happens" again. I wait it out - it's usually less than 3 minutes, never painful, in fact, sort of pleasurable in a strange way, but sometimes I'm then too awake to fall back asleep. The other night it happened three times. Usually it's about once a month or so? Been going on for a couple of years. I'd really like to know if it is something I should be more concerned about. Doesn't sound like anyone here has found a definitive answer.
Wow! And I thought I was all alone. I have had this problem for quite sometime now, I had thought it might be a panic attack because I have a history of them but they've always happened when I'm awake not when I'm about asleep. It has gotten to the point that I am afraid to go to sleep, I get really nervous and sometimes throw myself into a panic attack. What I experiance when I'm almost asleep is described perfectly here, a shock that jolts me upright, I get the feeling that I'm falling to my death, wake very scared, heart racing. I have to say, the radiation theory sparks my curiousity because this problem has been going on for as long as I've had my iPhone, about a year and a half.
As I understand it, if you are having sleep apnea, your body will signal a big breath to get some oxygen in. At the same time your heart rate will increase for the same reason, ie to get oxygen to you tissues.
If this is the trigger for you to wake violently, then at that point you are also getting a surge of adrenaline, which will increase your heartrate more.
If you have a heart condition on top of that, it can trigger it, for me it is tachycardia.
I've been taking Magnesium supplements and it seems to help with my heart issues. This is possibly because it also has a beneficial effect on the operation of one's nervous system. I take orotate and chelate forms since I have signs of a Mg deficiency.
On Mg my ectopic beats reduced to only a couple of times a day compared to every twenty minutes.
Just a thought, our bodies are systems where everything interacts with everything else so it can be hard to pin down a single solution.
I've been experiencing this for the last five years. Having just fallen asleep, I bolt upright struggling for breath feeling a physical surge in my chest and generally alarmed. Sometimes the problem is milder and I feel a surge of pressure in my head coming on which leaves me in a highly awakened state, sometimes it's really extreme and quite frightening - when I lurch upwards and manage to take a breath and it feels as if I would die if I didn't resist the oncoming 'attack' but then I find it easier to get back to sleep. Afterwards, my heart beat is fast and highly irregular. I spoke to the doctor who raised the possibility of sleep apnea and sent me on my way. I've never really had a medical condition that felt this serious before. Sometimes I can go weeks without such an incident. Other times it happens three or four times a night for several nights running. Last night, I felt a slight ache in the left side of my chest when it was happening. It's never happened if I wake in the morning and go back to sleep. Definitely something to do with winding down and entering the sleep process. I've wondered sometimes if it's a psychological response to being habitually woken after falling asleep as this was happening due to neighbours around the time it started. I used to smoke cannabis habitually when it started. When I stopped doing this, the condition improved but still occurred in spurts. If I ever smoked cannabis again (as a one off) it would nearly always result in a particularly violent incidence of the problem so I don't bother any more. However, if I smoke normal cigarettes before going to bed, this also seems to make it more likely. Also if I'm generally experiencing a stressful period of life, it's more likely to happen. I found that after periods of playing computer games it would happen. I sometimes feel a kind of pressure in my head after using mobile phones which I have to do a lot at work. Another possibility I've thought about could be some kind of electro-magnetic sensitivity problem connected with the way the brain works when entering sleep having been exposed to modern day usage of electronic equipment. I haven't got any answers but would love to know.
I am doing a sleep study in a week. I may have sleep apnea, because I have finally noticed that when I wake up to a panicked rapid heart rate it is usually while laying on my back, and when I initially enter REM sleep. The first 10 or so time this happened, I couldn't control my pulse (like 150+bpm), since, I have learned to let it happen, and it usually slows down in a few minutes. The doctor thinks it is Rem sleep apnea. It sounds like dddaaan and some of you may have something similar. Email me if you want to hug it out, because trust me, I know what you all are going through.
I have been suffering from similar symptoms to those of many of you, waking up shortly after falling asleep at night with a fast rate rate and, more recently, with burning pain in various parts of my body like under calves, calves, hamstrings, as well as with tingling in hands and pulsations in neck. Today I was diagnosed by a great Neurologist at Rush in Chicago, Dr. Barboi, with Automonic Dysfunction. While it's a degenerative neurological disorder, the good news is that it's treatable with medication. If any of you are at a loss what to do, seek out a Neurologist at Rush and they will be able to help you. Good luck.
I identify with a few of the posts on this page. Mrpatriot71's is of particular interest because of the numbness and tingling episodes. My first episode was in 2001. It was a biggie, and got me quickly to the ER. It left me with numbness and tingling, which eventually subsided but periodically returned. Symptoms recurred over 5 years, then subsided for several years and recently returned. Struggling a bit now with heart palpitations waking me at night, chest pain most of the time, and fatigue occurs periodically...more often lately, after noon.
Pressing through with mindset of not making more of it than is, but bringing it up with doctors. They don't know what to do with it. First time I brought it up, was told the nighttime episodes were just panic attacks, which I've never had. Next time I tried to address it (several years later), the doctor skipped past it and focused on my intestinal issues. More recently, I was just referred to a cardiologist (by new internist) due to irregular EKG, which was run as a precaution related to chest pain. Might be unrelated to those symptoms that begin in 2001...but am somewhat hopeful for answers and resolution.
*My question to this community of responders, only if relevant, did there ever seem to be a particular trigger to your symptoms, in the very beginning?*
I never had a single symptom. Was in truly excellent health up to age 33 (2001). My family physician prescribed Celexa to get me through a temporary emotional hurdle at that time. I hadn’t had any such medication before. (Only thing I ever took was antihistamines…no other pharmaceutical.) I went ahead and tried it. I took it for 5 days. Noticed pains started in wrist and fingers. Eventually achy neck. Then pain in right knee area, right arm elbow area, and eventually left hip.
I wrote this down soon after because I had an extreme episode in the middle of the night on the 5th day. Woke at 1 am with a wave of heat moving through my body and my right side went numb. Went to ER. They did all they tests. Nothing showed. Pain continued next day in hip, hands, wrist, fingers. Numbness remained a little while. Periods of pain or numbness recurred for several years.
It has always seemed that the Celexa triggered it. The doctor said that was not possible. But I never had any issues whatsoever before that.
Did anyone else have such a trigger? Finally decided to ask. :-)
I am interested to know how complicated it was for you to arrive at the right type of specialist and, then, for that physician to identify your diagnosis with certainty...if you would care to share that. Thanks.
Me too! It's always just as I am falling asleep (usually within 10 mins or so) I will suddenly awaken to my heart beating so hard. It slows down after a minute or so, but is very disconcerting. This will happen several times, then I will finally be able to stay asleep. It is making it so that I dread going to sleep as I know i is going to be a huge battle. It just happened this afternoon when I was trying to take a power nap in the recliner. I had my eyes closed for 5 minutes (I looked at the clock).
You might benefit from a 24hr Holter ECG to see what happens and if it is SVT attacks or anxiety.
I used to get SVT attacks (during the day, while I am sleeping, any time!) and had that treated with Cardiac Ablation. I still get occasions when I wake up with very fast HR and palpitations and since I've been taking 50mg ENDEP and 10mg Diazapam at night (for another medical condition) I sleep through the night without getting the fast HR episodes.
That diagnosed mine as anxiety.
Hope the info helps you and that you get the Holter-test done.
I know this might sound weird, but I'm kind of glad I found your community that seems to be bound by this “exotic” illness. Thought I'd give you some insights about my condition:
1. I am a 30 year old male and I have been having my terrible symptoms since age 22.
2. I've seen three doctors so far (very frustrating). One of them prescribed me Magnesium pills to help relax... A harmless idiot. Another one suggested supplementary sexual activity and competing in Marathon events. He told me it is possible that my body produces too much adrenaline and that I should deal “wisely” with that. The doctor I saw is a certified cardiologist. The third one gave me a hypnotic and suggested yoga and some Mozart.
3. Here is my condition:
a. It happens just as I am falling asleep. (Doesn't matter if it is day or night or the position I'm sleeping in.) Never happened in a wake-state.
b. I wake up suddenly with tachycardia (like a spasm that jolts me upright), respiratory distress, and an awful sensation in my upper stomach (like having a corset tightened under my skin…)
c. Sometimes these attacks are quite violent and in those moments - like 1 minute, maybe 2 - I feel like I'm going to die.
d. It doesn't happen when I get REALLY drunk. (i.e., when I drink more than 10 beers or a bottle of vodka).
Has any of you met a proper diagnostician? Is there even a medical name for this? I’m sure it is neither Sleep Apnea nor Sleep Terror Disorder.
I still hope there is a way around this problem, and that somebody will come with a professional answer.
I'm curious if the people that posted responses to this discussion are still experiencing their symptoms, and has anyone had any explanation or diagnosis for this problem? This was the first time I found a site where I can completely relate to the exact symptoms. This has been happening to me for a few years, where I will get rudely woken up after just falling asleep to a very rapid heart beat. It lasts for approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute, then I am terrified to fall back asleep.
Any thoughts or additional info. would be greatly appreciated, as you have all have eased my mind knowing that I am not alone!!
From what I have read, the heart rate in everyone behaves differently, there is far more variation, even in different levels of sleep. The sympathetic system basically becomes none existent while the vagal activity increases a lot. It might be worth wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours to give a pattern of this during sleep. I also read that acid reflux can be a cause. When you lay down, the acid will inflame the esophagus and press on the vagus nerve. This will increase the rate and probably increase pressure too. You can of course test this by not eating or drinking for at least 2 hours before bed, and having more pillows to elevate you more at one end. It makes sense with some individuals because they reported the problem when in bed, but not if they fall asleep in a chair.
What about your breathing, does it feel normal when you wake up? or do you seem to be gasping for air?
This does sound much like sleep apnea to me. I have heard from many different people suffering from sleep apnea and jolting awake, gasping for breath and being in a panic are all things I often hear in association. Normally the heart pounding comes from not being able to breath due to the apnea and the panic comes from your body reacting to the jolt and the lack of air. Perhaps bring up the idea of sleep apnea to your doctor and see if that is consistent to any other medical symptoms you are also experiencing.
I too am having the same symptoms, waking up shortly after falling asleep. I call it the fright and flight stage. The my heart rate goes way high. It last for about 3 to 4 minutes. I am never out of breath but as son as I wake up I have trained myself to start breathing faster to get oxygen to the heart as quickly as possible. It helps. Also I don't get out of bed so I do not activate the vega nerve. I have had my sleep study and all they said was that I had severe snoring. I have a cardio appointment this week and well lets see how that goes, but something tells me that it will be normal too. Your point about the cell phone is interesting and I am wondering that perhaps if you hit on something there. I am also wondering if perhaps even the home wireless networks which stay on 24 and seven can affect the brain.
Dangit, im having the same issue. Ive been dianosed w/ a leaky mitro & aortic valve. The mitro diagnosis csme about 8-10 yrs ago. The aortic, just recently i found out. About a month ago. But For about the past month or do ive had my heart trigger into a faster rate or tachycardia @ a certain stage of my sleep, every night now. And a the last coiple weeks i had a couple episodes during the day where my bp spiked really high & so i had to call an ambulance & go to the ER. And this is all new. Ive already done the sleep study & they found no spnea. At least on that night. I really need to pinpoint whats going on. Im waiting gor my event monitor to arrive in the mail so i can get this recorded. I want to fix what the disorder is. Not just start treating the symptoms. I just read about Svts. I wonder if thus is a possibility.
44yr old Male night time Tachycardia in 1st hour of sleep
Has anyone experienced excess Gas through burping shortly after their episode ie. Gastric Reflux ?
I have had this (frightening experience) when you wake up gasping for air and your Heart is racing v v fast .... <6 times @yr for 13 yrs and every time i get wind up shortly after .
The Palpitations last less than 1 min every time , and return to normal like switching off a light switch .
All tests treble tested and negative .
I've read about the Vagus nerve and Gastric Reflux connection with Palpitations but no Medical evidence as they say .....
I have suffered with waking up in the first hour of sleep breathless followed by my heart pounding since I was 27 years old and I am now 68. It still frustrates me but I handle it differently than I did in the first years so that has helped the pounding heart. I still wake up terrified every time and I do think I am dying until I wake up enough to know it is another attack. I experience these attacks differently, sometimes it is as if someone hit me in the stomach and knocked the air out of me and other times it is as if the air was sucked out of me. I can calm myself down pretty fast, unlike in the earlier years, and get back to sleep. Had a sleep study years ago. The only thing they detected was very active leg movement. I can go, what seems to be, a month without one and then have several nights of them in a row, which I am experiencing right now. I have talked to doctors about this many times with no answers and don't even bother anymore. if figure if it hasn't killed me by now it probably won't. Wish I had the answers. MB from FL
Late 30s and I have similar experiences (waking up with my heart racing or offbeat after being asleep for just a little). Another aspect for me is being disoriented. I'll wake up and the light from the window or doorway seems odd and I feel like I'm seeing things that aren't there. I've had some really weird sensations like people being in the room or out in the hallway - freaky stuff. Once I get my bearings I settle down and can get back to sleep but it's super unsettling. I've had tachycardia issues for a few years and have been on metoprolol for about 7 months (had an ablation that wasn't effective). The met keeps my PVCs mostly under control, but this waking up after 30-45 min. of sleep is a relatively new deal for me. I've noticed that I have a sinus symptom along with my heart issues. It's almost like when your ears pop or clear out from altitude - but it's my nose doing that when my heart starts acting up. In one sense it's comforting to know that others have these issues but it's frustrating to think about having this go on for years without a solution. I do feel like I've got some sleep apnea issues because my wife says I snore. My main comfort has been prayer and trusting that God is in control and that he is good and cares for me.
I have been having this since 2005. This is the first time I have found a board with so many others experiencing the same problem. I have the exact same symptoms and it is not anxiety. At times I want to go to sleep so badly, that I am nearly in tears, as this issue keeps waking me up.
Fortunately, I just now have insurance again after several years and I look forward to getting a doctor to listen to me. I am hoping for the Holter Monitor.
**I will add something that I get an eye roll about when I mention it. Back in 2009, I watched an episode of Diagnose Me on some cable channel. I don't normally watch this show but the preview intrigued me. This woman had the EXACT same symptoms. It took her years to find out it was Cushings Disease. I think she went to UC Berkely and finally had it diagnosed. I have several of the symptoms of Cushings so it makes me wonder. Anyone else? I have heard on average it takes a person seven years to finally get a diagnosis. What a shame.
One other thing I have noticed helps is sleeping with an ice bag and making sure my body is fully cooled down before bed. Heat seems to aggravate it. This summer has been hard for me with high humidity. I advise caution with this. Some people cannot do this for fear of injury from the ice. It doesn't cause a problem for me. A triple quart zip lock bag, with a saturated sponge inside. It stays cold long enough to help me cool down. I had read something about Cushings causing a problem for the body to cool down for sleep. Some kind of short circuit. I cannot remember the problem exactly, so please don't quote me.
Anyway, thanks for posting your experiences. It's a horrible feeling. I hope to get this behind me. No one should have to be afraid to go to bed each night.
For all of those affected, TRY the Valsalva maneuver just after being waken up; it will decrease your beating rate immediately.
It's basically: inhale, pinch your nostrils shut with your fingers and then try to blow the air out strongly (hold for a sec, then release the air normally and check your pulse, repeat if necessary). The increased pressure in the throat will be perceived by the carotid baroreceptors, which control heart rate.
There was a time I had some of these (I'm not having for quite a while now, yay!), always when sleeping, and I couldn't find a cause, except for anxiety or stress, which one never knows at the moment.
I am truly glad I found this webpage and see I'm not the only one. This worked for me so well and it's so simple that I had to share it with you.
I sleep like 10 hours I don't have bradycardia or anything my heart rate has always been in the 90s-100s when im happy but when im asleep its in the 85s and when im like down to the bone calm, its 80 I don't have tachycardia or bradycardia Syndrome
Greetings to all.I have similar symptoms. At night I Wake up from the vibration in his chest and tachycardia systematically,every night.This continues for the third year.I have made several researches on Holteru,sleep monitoring.Checked the thyroid hormones. All normal.I lost 8 lbs. in two years.While there is no diagnosis.Gonna get checked for reflux or hernia hiatal,then in neurology.
It does happen in my sleep and its not that rare, I have a been on a monitor 24/7 several times which proves it. Collegegirl your post and the comment about getting all worked up into a panic is an ignorant comment, maybe you need to go back to college for about 15 years. Sleep causes my SVT attacks all the time.
Hey there, lay off College Girl. Go look up SVT and you will find out that it can be caused by a type of panic attack while sleeping, you wake up with the pounding heart etc. So just chill, maybe you need to. . . .
Hi guys this happened to me for the 1st time last night...I was asleep for one hour when I woke up in a shock and my heart was beating crazy fast, my whole body felt numb and I thought I was dying of a heart attack but there was no actual pain in my heart....I walked around for a while and then I Googled and found this site...my experience was so similar to the very first post on this subject which made me feel a little bit better....I am suffering from an erratic heart beat which I thought had caused the panic attack last night.....I have been taking nexium for about 10 years now for a hernia which used to cause me to choke when sleeping...I have been through the sleep apnea issue and this is most certainly something different....do any of you guys take nexium? I am led to believe it reduces the calcium and magnesium in our bodies and this affects the heart.
I know your post is old, but it helped me a lot, so I was wondering if you have been diagnosed with anything yet? My symptoms are almost IDENTICAL, and it's very strange...with one exception...I am typically very dizzy when this happens, and like you very very disoriented. Last night when this happened, it felt like the room was moving closer to me, and then further away from me...REALLY fast, and lasted probably 20 seconds? Then, the hart palpitations started. I typically also wake up soaking wet...sweat literally dripping off my face/hair. So, I wake up 30-45 mins into sleep with Tremors, Sweats, Disorientation, Heart Racing with Palpitations. Sometimes I wake up right as it starts, and I can get it under control...like I can stop it if I wake up soon enough. I lay in bed at nights sometimes and watch YouTube with headphones on...via my cell phone. I wonder if this has anything to do with it. It was REALLY REALLY bad last night, and I fell asleep with my headphones on...but nothing was playing...the video I was watching had ended a long time ago.
I feel like I am dying when it occurs, and I have a phobia of dying from a heart attack, so this makes things 100 times more scary for me.
I will end it here...I appreciate your write-up and was just curious as to your progression over the last couple years since this post?
I have anxiety panic on meds. I had a 24 heart monitor for precaution which showed 150 bpm times while I slept. Doctor put me on metropolol 50 mg. This is scary!!! I am afraid I am going to die in my sleep.
I agree, I have moderate sleep apnea. One night I was also drinking (niged) and my friend found me and called an ambulance. I was semi unconscious and all of a sudden stopped breathing. I rose up, gasped and opened and closed my eyes quickly then dropped back down. My freind almost had a heart attack and thought maybe that was my last breath. I could hear things but could not respond. He was scared. Yes i agree, I have started falling alseep then all of a sudden gasped and even at times rose my body.
My last post was Jan. 2013. I am now 70 and continue to suffer with these same attacks. Have had them real frequently lately. Like I said in my last post I was 27 when all of this started. A long time to be suffering with these and I have the same feeling of dying as I have always had just handle it differently. I don't get upset like I use to. Sometimes it does happen as I am drifting off to sleep and then it is not as bad. I rarely have more than one a night but it has been almost nightly lately. I did go off a hormone patch and am really suffering with hot flashes which is probably not helping. I would love an answer but I don't think there is one. Maybe someday a brilliant doctor will come up with an answer. MarMB
So glad to have found this forum. Sounds just like my symptoms. Waling with rapid heart beat usually around two hours into sleep. I do sleep with my cell phone under my pillow and I will now move it. I usually wake up hot too so I am always asking myself is this a hot flash or heart attack. Dr. said to take a valium and if it goes away it's not your heart it is a night panic. It doesn't happen every day but I just know I am dying when it does. I am a 66 year old female. I have an appointment with a cardiologist in a couple of weeks just to check it out. My primary physician said my heart seemed fine but if I felt the need to pursue it see cardiology. Just to ease my mind I am going. Thanks for all the info it is so comforting
I am very relieved to know that I'm not the only one with these problems. I've learned that "sleeping" is a complicated process where the heart and brain do their own thing for reasons not well explained on the internet. Most doctors simply do not have the expertise on the subject and we are left to fend for ourselves. I am monitoring myself and trying to figure out what works best for me. I have a Phillips CPAP machine that allows me to download my APNEA events every day. I now have a BASIS PEAK watch (since Xmas) that allows me to download my heart rate data daily and plot all results using EXCEL. So far, my APNEA events (defined as periods of not breathing lasting longer than 10 seconds) do not correlate to my episodes of rapid heart beat (RHB) at 150-190 bpm. Through minor lifestyle changes and 10 lb weight loss, I have my APNEA mostly under control but I still monitor and analyse the data. Over the next few weeks, I will be analyzing my RHB in great detail to see how I can control it. Everyone concerned with RHB should get one of these BASIS PEAK watches (<$200) which you can use 24/7. Good luck everyone.
I have just had an online consultation with a cardiologist and it appears that we have a string of PVC's (extra heart beats) when asleep which triggers the waking response and then our heart over compensates by beating strongly. It is usually benign but worth getting a holter monitor to check this is what is happening. very common apparently.
I have had these same systems for a couple of years now. Wake up the first 1/2 to and hr of REM sleep, starts sometimes like heat rising from my feet to my head, as little numbness, than get of feeling like out of breath, fainting and heart pounding, this last around 30 seconds to a minute. What I now do is I grasp for air and raise my legs to get more oxygen to my brain. The Feeling I get is like I am going to die but I have realized it hasn't killed me yet. I can get one episode per month or sometimes could go without one. Now I know that I am not alone. I wish we could get this cleared out but for now we will have just have to deal with it.
Happens to me! Scary too so I know what thats like. Sleep on your side because it happens more when laying flat on your back. I have orthostatic hypotension and 2 heart conditions. Maybe you might have something similar but maybe not but, changing position while sleeping may help.
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