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rapid, irregular, pounding heartbeat while sleeping
Hello there.  the other night while sleeping with my husband, i turned over and cuddled with him resting my head on his chest and while doing so i could feel and hear his heartbeat.  i have never heard anything like what i did that night!  his heart went crazy!! first started beating really fast, almost to the point that i couldnt have counted the beats if i wanted to. then it started beating fast AND irregular, skipping and doing what sounded like triple beats.  and if that wasnt enough, during the fast and irregularities, then it started pounding HARD against his chest.  so hard i swear it bounced my face an inch off his chest!! this went on the whole night as when i woke up the next morning, his heart was still doing the same thing! and he doesnt feel it!! and when he is awake and active his heart rate isnt above 60!! BUT its still completely irregular! i finally nailed him down and we monitored his heart rate for an hour while he was awake and it never went above 60 bpm and never once was regular.  his heart either palpitated to the point it sounded like it would stop at any moment or would beat REAL slow then speed up to a rate of not being able to be counted then PAUSED for 4 seconds then beat like mad.  what is this??  what could cause this???  he has no health ins.  and we dont have the money for a specialist.  but i would gladly give up everything i own to make sure he is ok, so please, if you can, advise me what to do.  im terrified. he is now too, but i cant believe he never felt this before.  thank you for your time.  i appreciate it greatly.  :)
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Avatar_universal
Hi - yes, it sounds like he definitely needs to get checked out.  I also don't have health insurance right now, but I know that where we live (Dallas) there is a huge hospital downtown that will treat you even if you're uninsured.  They have specialty clinics you can go to, like cardiology.  If you live near a large city, or even in a smaller town, call some of the hospitals in your area and ask them if they know of anything like this being available.  I hope you find medical help - it's so awful not to have insurance.  I also hope they find out what's going on with your husband.  Take care!
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please get it checked out............first so you don't worry.....most irregular heart beats that you can detect like that are not life threatening.........the dangerous ones usually are fatal before the person having them or in your case listening to them even has a chance to have it hear or discovered.

I am surprised with the delay between some beats that he hasn't passed out or fainted somewhat due to the lack of oxygen.

If this is a constant irregular beat then a simple visit to the doctors with an EKG monitor on will shed light of further treatment considerations.......

If it is only episodial over a 24 hour period and you don't catch it on an EKG at the doctors a heart monitor vest should be worn by him for a 24 period to get the full write up.....if is really sproadiac and you can't catch it....then an event monitor worn over weeks or a month will allow him to capture it.

The results either way should be read by a cardiologist who specializes in heart arrthymas.....meaning an electro cardiologist..... to get the best diagnosis as possible.

Now based on what you just told me if I had to guess (and this is only a lay person's guess) I would say that sounds like a form of afib.......or some runs of PACs..........

Afib in not lift threaten but needs addressed over time.........where as PAC runs are benign and in a sound heart are not an issue but could lead to afib in someone predisposed for it.....

If is he functioning through all this that is a good sign.......but don't be penny wise and pound foolish here regarding lack of insurance verse health..........get that checked out as I discribed above.

I hope this helps.....
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He should be evaluated for sleep apnea. If he is not getting enough oxygen at night his heart will try to compensate by beating harder and faster. These harder faster beats can lead to irregular beats. If this only happens at night sleep apnea would be my first consideration. Take him to a sleep clinic where they can do a sleep study. They will monitor his heart beat and breathing all night and will be able to see what kinds of irregular beats are happening and what happens to trigger them. Sleep apnea can be deadly but it is easily treated with a c-pap machine that blows air into the lungs to keep the airway open.
Good luck.
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Many cities have quality university hospitals that will treat him on scale that is based on your income.  Make sure he is seen.  Take care, Ally
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