Rapid heartbeat at night: Hi I've had a... - British Heart Fou...

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Rapid heartbeat at night



I've had a few scary episodes, normally around 2 am, when I wake up and my heart rate is around 98 bpm. I've had an ecg and an echo test and this picked up a very small hole in my heart. My consultant said it wasn't anything that needs attention but I'm wondering if this is causing the rapid beat. I also get ectopic beats, again apparently harmless (although very disconcerting). Any tips for managing this? Getting increasingly anxious !

2 Replies

Hi Rose,

What is your normal heart rate? There is nothing wrong with having a heart rate of 98 BPM when resting, if your rate is generally a lot lower, as long as it's not all the time. Normal heart rate is between 60-100. I wonder if you are waking from a dream and this has put your rate a little higher? Can you feel your heart beat when you wake, or does it only start when you think about it? What makes you check your pulse in the middle of the night? You know athletes run for hours with a heart rate well above yours and it's safe. Not trying to belittle your worry, just trying to understand what the cause could be to perhaps ease your anxiety.


Emily_BHFBHF Nurse

Hi Rose,

I am sorry to hear you are having a difficult time and experiencing these symptoms. Symptoms associated with congenital heart defects (including hole in the heart) include shortness of breath (especially during exercise), tiredness and sometimes arrhythmias that can trigger palpitations. Although I am not sure whether this is the cause of your symptoms.

Sometimes people experience palpitations and these are caused by abnormal heart rhythms, the cause can be unknown or stimulants including alcohol, caffeine, certain medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter), recreational drugs and tobacco are tiggers. Sometimes the cause is unknown or it can be stress related. If you continue to get these palpitations the next test I would ask about having would be the 24 hour ECG monitor where they can see the electrical activity of the heart over a longer period of time. Please discuss this with your GP.

If you have a severe episode of these palpitations then please do not hesitate to seek medical attention and call 111.

Take care,


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