Couldn't sleep

Last evening I woke at 3AM with my body pounding. It was very easy to feel the pulses bc the heels of my feet were acting like a heart monitor. I stay awake unable to fall back to sleep feeling the beats which remained steady and never went into irregular pattern. I had this happen a few months ago in my sleep. I'm going to call my EP to schedule an appointment bc I'm fearful that this could be a new arrhythmia or possibly a problem with my medication which is Flecanaide. Since my EP increased my dosage to 300 mgs last June I've been free of PAF. I'm very concerned that something else is happening. Any opinions would be very much appreciated. Trying to stay calm dealing with these unknowns but getting more and more difficult after over ten years of dealing with this mongrel.

10 Replies

  • Gracey, take a deep breath and relax. If your heart rate was regular I'm sure everything is fine. It may well be the medication making you more aware of your heart beat but I have never been aware of any pulse in my heels. By the way it isn't an arrhythmia if your heart rate is regular so you needn't worry on that score. This mongrel condition does make us all very aware of our hearts. Unnaturally so and sometimes this sort of thing can happen particularly if woken from deep sleep when the old fight or flight reflex kicks in.

    Try not to worry


  • Hi Bob,

    I totally agree with your advice to Gracey that the best way to deal with her problem, at least in the middle of the night, is to relax etc. However I am not entirely sure that I agree with you that an unnaturally fast heart rate (occurring in an unstressed heart in the middle of deep sleep) is NOT an arrhythmia? It is surely not a normal rhythm?

    I had AF and Aflutter ablated (mostly successfully) last year, but still suffer occasionally with Atrial Tachycardia (is this the same as SVT?) at a very fast regular rate. It was during my ablation that my EP saw and tried to ablate this and I am sure he referred to it as my 3rd type of arrhythmia, which he fully expects me to need a further ablation for in the future?



  • I never said a fast heart rate wasn't an arrhythmia Angie and agree re tachycardia but that wasn't the question. Pounding doesn't mean racing after all. Sometimes I can hardly hear for the sound of my heart pounding in my ears at 60bpm. I think we all get that feeling sometimes.

  • I second Bob's suggestion to take some deep breaths. I think a lot of us just have a real awareness of our heartbeat, and at night it becomes especially obvious. When that happens I just stay thankful that I am aware of a regular and steady rhythm. Inhaling very slowly to a count of 7 or 8, and exhaling to the same count while relaxing from the top of your head all the way to the tip of your heals can help to calm you in such a situation, and help you fall back to sleep. And the good news, is that after a decade of dealing with AF, you are still here to tell the tale :-) Peace and calm to you today.

  • Hi Gracey!

    3am is a very frequent hour for me to wake up. Initially I'm just glad to be alive, then glad I haven't slipped into AF or disappointed if I have !

    Whatever, I just practice deep slow breathing to get myself back to sleep these days . ( If its AF I just pop 5mg Bisoprolol...for all the good it does...and try to sleep until daylight )

    Everything seems so much worse at night and I've had it over 23 years.



  • Thank you all for your replies. I will try the breathing next time. Think it's time to listen to my daughters advice, she's been trying to get me to take yoga classes for years! She is an instructor so I have no excuse.

  • I agree about deep and very conscious breathing, as well as yoga.

    You might also visit an experienced acupuncturist. The feet have many "touch points" used in acupuncture and reflexology, and they affect a number of meridians. Slow, steady breathing can help to balance the energy flowing through you and possibly help to clear whatever is causing your feet to be particularly responsive. A capable oriental doctor can tell you more about this.

  • Thank you Kodaska , I'm going to try an accupuncturist . I have been going to a Chiropractor but haven't seen any difference in how I feel. So often I feel like my body is reved up and I can't relax. It's like every nerve in my body is in flight mode.

  • In addition - or perhaps instead of - an acupuncturist, you might consider shiatsu, massage therapy, or some other form of energy work that focuses on clearing bad energy via the meridians. Breathing is good, but body/energy work can really reset your clock.

  • Thank you Kodaska, I will pursue your suggestions and keep you posted, Gracey

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