Angina Attack while sleeping? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

20,775 members14,124 posts

Angina Attack while sleeping?


Hi I have been having Angina Attacks during the night whilst asleep. Its happening about once a week. They wake me up in discomfort and I have to use my GTN spray. I had 5 CABG's 10 years ago. 3 of the 5 are now blocked, 1 has a stent and the other (LMA) is patent. I have recently been told that 2 areas of my heart are not getting sufficient blood supply on exertion. Has anybody got any information that may help? Thanks

27 Replies

Angina attacks whilst you're resting is usually due to unstable angina which can be quite serious. I would speak to your GP/cardiologist about it but next time it happens you would probably be best to at the very least ring the helpline number or maybe call the paramedics out just to be on the safe side.

Bluemoon2018 in reply to Lezzers


MichaelJHHeart Star

I have to agree with Lezzers. If you haven't spoken with anyone yet why not ring 111. They may decide on an ECG and a check on Toparin levels to ensure nothing is amiss. I started getting unstable angina shortly before my bypass and it is more worrying when you have not been exercising and are not stressed.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to MichaelJH

Spot the typo it's Friday your tired blessed spell check🙂


MichaelJHHeart Star in reply to Milkfairy

I blame me cold! Sniff! 😓

Wishing you a speedy recovery MichaelJH.

God bless you.

Thanks for your advice.

dickielex in reply to MichaelJH

Michael JH's experience mirrors mine. Unstable angina, if that is what it is, is a serious matter. Like Michael, I ended up in an ambulance and then in theatre for a quadruple CABG. Act now, phone 11 or 999- it's as serious as that.

In cardio rehab they tell us if you get pain that wakes you up dial 999. Don't take a chance with your health x

Thanks will take your advice.

I have coronary microvascular disease and one of main symptoms is early morning angina that comes at rest. Usually around same time. It wakes me up 4-5 morning a week. Might be worth asking question about it. BHF have a good info sheet on it.

Please talk to a medical person but be aware not everyone is up to date with microvascular- I’ve had a very difficult journey and still on it. I have thankfully been referred to Bradford Specialist Clinic and finally getting sorted

Good luck and take care

Thank you I will read up on the BHF.

I also have unstable angina but it has only woken me up once. However, my attacks are mainly when I'm in bed. No longer have cardiologist appointments just my annual check up with nurse at GP surgery. So I feel like I'm just left to get on with it! I agree you should at least ring 111 to hear their opinion - Pity I don't listen to my own advice!

Thanks. We never listen to our own advice 🤣

Hi, I have had this once, a scary occurence. GTN did nothing for me so a no brainer was 999 which then lead me to be admitted for observations for 2 days and booked in for a angiogram the following day. Multiple ECG and 3 cardiologists in the CCU were convinced i would should come out clear on the angiogram so it came as a shock when they were in there doing their stuff and they went 'ooh' can we induce a test? Crack on says me and I left the angiogram team after having a stent, moderate blockage on LAD.

Moral of the tale, in scary times like you experienced, 999 is the answer

Glad you're ok now.

Another call 999 I’m afraid. Unstable angina is a sign that things are not going well in there and need to be fixed to avert a cardiac event.

I was ambulanced with unstable angina, and the angio showed lo and behold, several areas of severe stenosis. I was no more than a week away from another heart attack, 3 months after my first.

No queueing tho! Everything has a bright side!

MilkfairyHeart Star

Hi Bluemoom2018

I live with non obstructive coronary artery disease coronary vasospastic angina , microvascular angina and coronary artery spasms.

I am frequently woken in the night with chest pain it is a classic symptom of coronary vasospasms.

However as Sillyfroggy has said especially as you have a history of obstructive coronary artery disease chest pain at rest in the night is a sign that potentially all is not well.

I suggest you seek medical advice sooner rather than later and ring 111 or 999

Thanks. Everyone pointing to the same theme ring for help!

Been back to a&e a few times since my ha in January with pains in my chest. Got the all clear every time. Daft question but how bad was your pain and how long did it last before you took your gtn spray?

I've also got back pain due to 2 x fractures. So it's hard to tell sometimes what causes my pain

It was a typical angina attack and woke me up. Once I was aware I used gtn spray and It subsided quickly.

Sounds like coronary artery spasms.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Jacey15

Hi Jacey how are you?

Have you seen this the European society of Cardiology new guidelines for the management of chronic coronary syndromes they have a whole section on coronary vasospastic angina!

See section 6

Jacey15 in reply to Milkfairy

Hi Milkfairy, I'm not too bad thanks, how are you?

Thanks very much for the update. I'm glad it's been included. Progress! Finding a cardiologist willing to do provocative testing as it's an off label use of the medication remains challenging though. May be this will help. One of my sisters has now also a presumptive diagnosis of vasospastic angina.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Jacey15

I am sorry to hear your sister maybe joining us in our surreal world of being unicorns in fairyland according to some in the Cardiology world.

However you are right progress has been made and I am feeling more positive. What is really encouraging is that Prof Colin Berry's research of using an angiogram with acetylcholine is the way to go to confirm coronary vasospastic angina has been acknowledged by the European Society of Cardiology.

I am not too bad thanks but winter and the cold does not suit me.....I will I know at some stage end up in hospital.

Jacey15 in reply to Milkfairy

Cold is one of my triggers too. Roll on spring.

Like you I’ve been woken up early hrs with discomfort in my arm and chest used my spray and it subsided waiting to be diagnosed .

You may also like...