Fast heart rate irregular : Woke up at 6am... - AF Association

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Fast heart rate irregular


Woke up at 6am with fast irregular heart rate, went bathroom to splash my face with cold water and took my beta blocker, within 5 minutes it was ok.

Really distressing this has happened on top of all the ectopics I’ve been getting.

Trying to rack my brains why it did that

Thinking maybe I eat late

87 Replies

I find the hot weather really doesn’t help at all, especially if there’s any knock effects of dehydration or poor sleep.

Padayn01 in reply to HappyJo

Yeah your right that don’t help either difficult time get to sleep what is it that cause your heart to play up at night any ideas?

HappyJo in reply to Padayn01

Think mine was also due to a very slow heart rate overnight. Used to wake from nightmares that I was on a bungee, something I’ve never done in real life with a fast rate ~180. Sorted since I’m paced at 60bpm round the clock now. Usually it’s just stress sets off my arrhythmia now and the pacemaker usually takes charge in less than 24 hours.

Mrhermyl in reply to HappyJo

Why does the pacemaker take charge after 24 hours and not sooner ?

Yes...eating late or eating a big meal will set mine off...I have main meal at lunch time and a bowl of soup at night, any wind or gas in my stomach from indigestion will push my heart into A/F

Mawes in reply to Stayfocussed

Same as fact I recognise the digestive discomfort as a warning of the approaching af event

Same here. In AF now. Which I suspect was due to what I had for lunch today. “Suffering” now. Hope it will go soon.

Lizty in reply to Padayn01

Dehydration plays a role in this heat........

Auriculaire in reply to HappyJo

In European countries where hot weather is the norm in summer we take active measures to guard against the heat. During the day windows and shutters are kept closed and if there are no shutters curtains are drawn or blinds lowered. This does involve spending time in darkened rooms which is a drag but it works to keep the heat out of the house. Then at night when the temperature outside has dropped we open the windows to let the cool air in. Upstairs windows are left open all night. I do not think these habits are widespread in more northern European countries but they should be taken up during heatwaves as they do help. Awnings on south facing windows are common too. Our bedroom faces south and we have an awning , a window blind and I keep the curtains closed too. We have had temperatures in the high 30s for several days now but I have had no trouble sleeping. Moveable air con machines are great too but you have to have somewhere for them to vent.

Do you have window unit air conditioners that provide cold air like here in the US. They can be removed in the winter time. Of course you need windows that open up and down.

I have not seen many. I think wall mounted ones on outside walls are more popular.

Ah some people here in the US just do that with the regular window units. Don't see it much anymore with the central heat and air conditioning systems put in homes.

BluMts in reply to Auriculaire

Thanks for that. Most houses in England are not built for the increasingly hot summer days we are getting in the UK. I live in a house with not much roof over hang. It's hellish. But once the air is cooler in the evenings I put a large box fan in the window. Works wonders. But do long to live elsewhere in summer.

There are occasions that I also like a snack before bed, any reaction tends to depend on two things 1. Volume/heaviness 2. Whether there are any stimulants in it, ie cheese/butter leaves a lot of grease circulating your system - it can bite (unintended pun) you back some hours later, include any strong drink in amongst your nibble . The volume/ heaviness will force your system to work harder to move it around - just thoughts.

Me too this morning. Only 90bpm and only a bit irregular but faster than my usual. Sometimes after supper too.

You suffer from ectopics. My EP says these often trigger Atrial Fibrillation attacks. I think hot weather doesn't help, dehydration makes it worse.

But I agree with Happyjo, with me, a slow resting heartrate at night can make your heart "kickstart". Mine was down in the 30s at night (when not in AF). So I was recommended a pacemaker set to keep it above 50bpm. Trouble is the sensor is set to come in too fast so I am waking up with these AF /SVT problems. I am plucking up courage to go into clinic to get it reset.

This morning at 6.00am I downed a full glass of water and got up and made two facemasks! It was gone in 5 mins with no tablets. Usually I lie and read there till it stops - up to an hour. But today getting up worked better. Plus I have 2 new facemasks...😉

Padayn01 in reply to Coco51

Yeah been suffering with ectopics for 2 months every day some days better than others the only thing I can think off is I eat late, yes your right hot weather don’t help but that’s intersting what your EP said, I hear 9/10 ectopics are not harmful

jeanjeannie50 in reply to Coco51

Coco, you took your mind off of what your heart was doing by making the masks. I believe it plays a big part in our AF attacks and keeping the abnormal beats going. Extreme stress also takes my BP sky high and it's normally lowish.


Coco51 in reply to jeanjeannie50

So true Jean! I will be knee deep in masks by the end of this heatwave...

Coco51 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Forgot to say.. . I asked consultant last week if anxiety triggers AF and he said yes it can certainly provoke AF because it affects the parasympathetic nervous system.

Padayn01 in reply to Coco51

Triggers ectopics also?

Coco51 in reply to Padayn01

Yes it does. It's that lurch in the belly feeling when you get bad news which is your heart skipping and your adrenaline pumping. I have had hypnotherapy with a psychologist to help with anxiety and it really helped me through the worst of my anxiety and reduced the severity of the AF attacks. Stopped me feeling so bad.

Alessa69 in reply to Coco51

Yes, that definitely can trigger mine. Coupled with de-hydration & hot weather !

RexH in reply to jeanjeannie50

So true, dwelling on it only makes things worse, I've stopped wearing S Garman watch, only causes stress

My EP says the opposite; that ectopics are benign. Many people have ectopics that never have a bout with AF.

Possibly my EP was referring to people who are susceptible to AF and have Paroxysmal AF. He used my high number of ectopics -as well as continuing bouts of AF - as a reason for doing a second ablation.

He said mine was " an atrium that wanted to fibrillate"!

That’s what I thought

My bouts of afib have always been preceded by ectopics. But my ectopics do not always result in afib. Nevertheless there is always that "oh no" moment "is this going to be another attack?"

Padayn01 in reply to Auriculaire

This heat certainly don’t help

Auriculaire in reply to Padayn01

See my reply to Happyjo about combating the heat.

it might be the heat- I had a longer than usual episode last Friday and had been very hot during the night

All I'll add is keep well hydrated - it can make a difference. Certainly in the hot weather. If I drink water at night I'm up peeing which affects my sleep. I keep a litre in the fridge to drink in the morning when I get up and aim for a couple more litres in the day.

It's important to do this with a heart condition.


Padayn01 in reply to Paulbounce

Yeah I aim for 2 litres a day bit sometimes don’t get that sometimes

Padayn01 in reply to Paulbounce

I think this was because maybe I eat late and I eat meat which is heavy at 9:30 at night

Paulbounce in reply to Padayn01

Sure Podayn - aim to get your two litres of water in a day (at least) and have your meal earlier. Maybe it wil help / maybe not but it's worth a try.

Enjoy your weekend.


Padayn01 in reply to Paulbounce

shipyard in reply to Paulbounce

greetings. have you measured your urine output over a 24 hour period? how much output at daytime and how much output through the night?


Paulbounce in reply to shipyard

Hello Shipyard.

Well I can't say I've measured my urine output as such. All I know is (and what I do) is to drink loads of water during the day. I tend to be an early bird and go to bed early and try and avoid liquids after 5 pm. I find I'll not have to wake up in the night needing a pee this way.

Sleep (IMO) is as important for your heart as staying hydrated. I guess different people will respond in different ways.

I also have plenty of pee's before I sleep in the evening. For me this works and it's very rare I wake up in the night needing a wee.

To answer your question - plenty of output during the day but not much (if any) at night. As daft as it sounds make sure you clear your bladder fully at night too. For your last wee - when you have finished - wait 1 minute and try again. This should empty your bladder completely.

As we get older our prostate can get enlarged - this is not uncommon and often not anything to worry about (however please get it checked if you have any concerns). This of course will wake you during the night. As stated - I think sleep and rest is very important for us afibbers.


shipyard in reply to Paulbounce

Thanks Paul,

I drnk around 3 liters a day and pee 3 to 4 liters over 24 hours, twice at night around a liter and 5 times a day around two to three liters, my fluid intake is around 3 liters over 24 hours. not including fruit breakfast.

my medication is Amlodipine 5mg Bisoprolol 3.7mg, Edoxaban 60 mg, I gthink that I should have a review of medication ?

Thanks for your reply and take care,

Paulbounce in reply to shipyard

Eating fruit will increase your fluid 'output' for sure. I can't answer your question about reviewing your med's - check with your doc about this.

Note other liquid intake too. For example I love a nice cup of tea and will often have 3 or 4 a day. Once again this this will add to your 'wee output' (if there is such a word).

I don't think you need to worry to much but mention it to your doctor if you have concerns. The important thing is to try and stay hydrated thoughout the day.


shipyard in reply to Paulbounce

thank-you Paul for your quick response

Padayn01 in reply to shipyard

No never done this how do you measure it?

shipyard in reply to Padayn01

aquire a one or two liter jug and measure amount of urine each time you urinate then flush down toilet, write down amount and time of day in diary.

also measure amount of fluidseach time you drink and also mark down in diary.

Follow this proceedure for a 24 hour period over a few days and you have your results, take care and regards

It does sound like the combination of late night eating - heavier food - and the hot weather contributed to this episode. Try not to blame yourself - it stopped really quickly with the BBs by the sound of it so that's good. Take it easy in the heat and maybe complete your evening meal 2 hours before bedtime to give your digestion a head start.

I dont tend to eat after 8pm, certainly not a meal but I'm regularly woken at 2 or 3am by a pulse of around 150. Think it maybe a slowing down of the HR whilst you are sleeping that makes mine jolt back into action. Roll on cardioversion number 3!!!

Ah as if you not got enough with ectopics mate. Heat used to affect me bad and probably due to not drinking enough. A Heavy meal late would also often trigger afib for me, actually landed me in hospital a couple of times before. Sleep is a big factor and this warm weather with high nighttime humidity doesn't promote a decent night at all.

Maybe a combination of all the above has triggered the event, and stress about the ectopics will further aggravate your heart.

Keep taking the magnesium taurate I told you at night it should help, and hard to do but more relaxed you are the better, if you miss sleep a t night make sure you catch up with at least a nap on the daytime.

More stress you feel the more likely to trigger an event mate, it's hard but try deep breathing techniques and relaxation stuff, it works, Jean is a good source of deep breathing techniques and natural methods.

Try get rest and drink water with dilute orange in, as water just leaves your body quick and can dehydrate working the wrong way being urinated out quickly , it's much easier to hydrate drinking it with a little juice... Ian.

Do not eat anything heavy after 6pm, maybe tea or coffee with a biscuit that's all. Start eating your main meal at lunchtime and don't eat too much. Too much food will cause heart arrythma if you are have AF.

I find that when I am anxious or have digestive issues or have eaten something that doesn't agree with me for some reason my heart can fibrillate about 7.1/4 hrs after I eat my main meal.

Too much liquid can deplete sodium and lead to electrolyte imbalances.

US suggests 2 liters while NHS suggests 1,8 liters. This includes the milk in your oats and water in your fruit.

Hi Padayn01,

I had similar wake ups, it all stemmed from Sleep Apnea, after a 24 hour test, I found I was stopping breathing upto 80 times an hour!

I now sleep with a CPAP and have had a Catheter Ablation...started getting Bigeminy Beats 4 months after the ablation, am now on very small dose of Bisoprolol and flecainide, fingers crossed, no abnormal rhythms since December last year..

Hope you find the cause



Beachlife629 in reply to CmsUK

What dose of Flecainide do you take?

This may be helpful

It was in my latest Healthline regular email which often has useful info re AF.

Padayn01 in reply to Buffafly

Thank you

The difficulty IMHO is that AF episodes are caused by a number of 'bad lifestyle' factors not just the trigger that caused your last episode. This causes a level of confusion as sometimes an action will trigger AF, other times if the other 'bad lifestyle' factors are at a lower level the same action will not be a big enough contribution to tip you into AF.

In your case, I think a late meal was one of the contributory factors and also sounds like your Vagus Nerve is too 'active' (from stress) as this often causes problems when you relax in front of a screen in the evening or during sleep.

The only answer is to improve all lifestyle potential issues simultaneously and not only avoid AF but improve your overall health, happiness & longevity; hard work & may not work for everyone but it did for me. I was determined at the outset that if AF was going to be tough, I was going to get advantage(s) out of it.

Possibly the hot weather......At least it went quickly so pleased about that, but are you drinking enough water? Last time I was taken into hospital with tachycardia and Afib they said I was dehydrated (in the winter too), but I drink loads.

Padayn01 in reply to Tapanac

I try aim for 2 litres a day


There are 101 things which might have caused the irregular heart beat. The best you can probably do is to go through a list of *possible* causes to see if you can eliminate them in future. In my case, eating a lot of sugary foods, eating too late at nigh and acid reflux seem to be causes, but you might have completely different ones. Most of my AF is at night, generally 2 or so hours after going to sleep. So I try to ensure that my evening routine is ok. Hope you are able to track down the cause and eliminate it.

I've been having the same thing only more pronounced plus low blood pressure for 4 days.

No idea why. We analyze and analyse why this happens often blaming this and that.

Mostly we come up with no answers.

Padayn01 in reply to Mrhermyl

It’s horrible I’m racking my head why it’s happen it’s come to the fact I just don’t trust my own heart now, even when I’m having a good few hours all I’m thinking is when my ectopics will happen again

Mrhermyl in reply to Padayn01

I totally agree with you. Difficult to ask the hard to get doctors (pandemic) what should I do now.

SandiBee in reply to Padayn01

Please don't worry abut it - or try not to - stress only makes it more likely- I was watching the snooker yesterday - just had a few nuts and raisins and an orange - when my heart went funny - checked with my Kardia- took my flecainide and a low dose bisoprolol a while later and back to normal in under 90 minutes. It can't have done much damage in that time and wasn't very fast - just disappointed that it happened but not going to stress about it (well trying not to!)

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

Anything triggers it now scared to eat anything now past 6:30pm

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

Where they unsalted the nuts?

SandiBee in reply to Padayn01

Of course! And organic!

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

Have you eaten them before without any problems?

SandiBee in reply to Padayn01

Yes, it's a common snack which we make up ourselves out of a range of nuts, seeds and dried fruit and only have a little nibble occasionally- have eaten healthily and mostly plant based for years and always previously been fit, healthy and never overweight- just the luck of the draw to get this paroxysmal AF (and little or no help from my surgery- thank goodness for this forum!) Get the 2litres plus of water and herb tea in daily and no alcohol- gave up the little I drank on diagnosis- and haven't had proper tea or coffee for years! It's just bad luck! At least we're alive!

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

Must be frustrating though eating healthy no drink, no smoke and still have this mongral condition

During this hot weather I make sure to drink electrolyte drink every day. My favourite is Sis Go Hydro. A runner friend recommended it. Dehydration will up my heart rate then I go into AFIB but drinking lots water washes out electrolytes and gives me feet cramps.

Padayn01 in reply to meeko45

Has it got caffeine in this drink?

meeko45 in reply to Padayn01

oh no, I don't drink caffeine or alcohol. It is sold in Tesco here in the UK.

That's the problem with PAF or ectopics- you are constantly worrying when the next episode might happen . It's a viscous circle as the more stressed you are the more chance of having another bout. It gives you a sense of dread. From my own experiences of AF over many years I have come to my own personal conclusions.

AF loves high blood pressure, stress and alcohol(and others ofcourse).

If you can reduce these you have fighting chance.

Also Bisopropol didn't do me any good at all. Added to the problem with a lowered HR.

If all else fails and you are offered an ablation. Go for it. I had one 2 years ago and never looked back. No permanent cure but I can enjoy a better quality of life.Good luck on your journey because that's what it is.

Padayn01 in reply to Magson

Thank you my freind, I had an abalation about a year ago things were brilliant till these ectopics cane about 2 months ago

SandiBee in reply to Magson

Where do you live I wonder?

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

West London

SandiBee in reply to Padayn01

The service for most heart problems definitely seems to be better there- not so good out here in the wilds of Gloucestershire- I used to have good doctors in the past - that's why it is so disappointing not to have now I really could do with it!

Padayn01 in reply to SandiBee

Yeah the service is pretty good down here which i'm grateful for, what meds are you on may i ask?

SandiBee in reply to Padayn01

I take the half dose of apixaban or edoxaban and flecainide as a PIP with added lowest dose bisoprlol when I have an episode which seem to occur every five days or so but never last very long!

I’ve been having similar issues, but can’t tolerate beta blockers 😞.

Do you have sleep apnea?

Padayn01 in reply to loglegmomma

Yes a little bit of sleep apnea

Same with me this AM. Then we rack our brains wondering WHY !

Padayn01 in reply to Mrhermyl

Oh no hope your settle down quick after it happens what time did it happen to you this morning?

Changing the subject does anyone else wee a lot when they are in AF?!!!! Have mentioned this to docs but they just look at me stupid, but As soon as it starts I am back and fore to the loo. Mift

SandiBee in reply to croesio

I've hard it's common- I had a short 90 minute episode last night and just two wees!

Visit nutritionist near Bristol - June Butlin, on the web - she has to charge but my word she knows how to help with what is easy for you to digest to help your heart and the time of day to eat. I wish I had known about her before the doctor put me on heart pills rather than finding out how my diet was suiting my body.

She do telephone consultations?

Yes, her phone number is 01225 869284. Tell her again how much she helped me. I managed to give up all my drugs 2 months after I started on my diet as she knows what suits my constitution. That's me. Everyone is different . best wishes Wendy Russell

Thanks you So Much

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