Waking up to high heart rate - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Waking up to high heart rate

GirlAfraid23 profile image

I wonder if anyone can help me.

I'm a 28 year old woman, fairly overweight, not very fit but no known illnesses or conditions. I'm a vegetarian and I do lots of walking mainly uphill as I live near the Yorkshire Moors.

I have been waking up from a deep sleep over the past few weeks to a heart beat of between 100-140bpm. It only lasts for a minute and then goes back to around 75-80. It's an uncomfortable feeling and it really frightens me. I sometimes wake up in a sweat too.

I don't tend to have these episodes during the day unless I'm active. So it's only really at night time.

I'm having a 24 hour holter monitor fitted today as I asked my GP to refer me to cardiology. I have a feeling I won't have any issues while wearing it, although I seem to have it every night. It would be just my luck.

Thanks in advance for any input. My sleep is greatly disturbed and I don't feel properly rested at all.

11 Replies

I have that from time to time, and you are right it is a very unnerving feeling. In fact, I had it yesterday for the first time in a while. I just try to drink some extra water and wait it out. on those mornings when I wake up like that I do not have any caffeine / coffee until it passes. I have been checked out and all was well.

Hi and thanks for replying.

I had a 24 hour holter monitor yesterday and just waiting for the results of that. I've had three normal resting ECGs and I'm going to request an echo and stress test next if I can.

I had that problem for years, a couple of hours after falling asleep I would wake up with my heart racing, it would last about 5 minutes, I went to a funeral and come over dizzy then my heart took off at 198 beats a minute and would not stop, I was admitted to hospital, it was put back with adenisone. I am diagnosed with svt and take a beta blocker, I get lots of ectopic beats though.

GirlAfraid23 profile image
GirlAfraid23 in reply to

Thanks for replying.

I'm not sure it's SVT as my heart has never gone over 160bpm before. But of course I know it could one day, I hope not.

How high would your heart get up to when you woke up in the night? These episodes never seem to happen during the daytime.

Is beta blocker the only option?

in reply to GirlAfraid23

For about 10 years it would get to 150 beats, once or twice I went to a and e but it had gone down to 100, none of the medical people took it seriously and I didn,t know until the big attack which wouldn,t go back into rhythm, they stopped and started my heart 3 times and still it persisted so I was put on adenisone through my drip. The beta blocker does drop my heart rate and blood pressure too low, pulse 54 to 60 and bp. 96 over 50, sometimes I feel quite dizzy and unwell.

I had this on and off for years, thought it was night frights, I thought I was going to die, it only lasted about 5 minutes but it was so uncomfortable, it never showed up when I had a 24 hour monitor on 2 occasions. I went to my uncles funeral in February and had a bad attack, 197 beats a minute had to have it put back with adenisone in hospital. They put me on bisoprolol, it made me feel terrible, I discontinued it before Christmas and will see my doctor next Thursday to ask to be referred back to a heart specialist. When I saw him in March he said he was referring me to an electrophysiologist, I haven,t received anything .

Hello GirlAfraid23, this sounds like sleep apnea, did you get yourself sorted?

Do You Have PTSD or/ A Anxiety Disorder ?* That Also Can Wake You With A Rapid Heart Beat From A "Adrenaline Dump".... And The Fear Only Makes It Worse...

I know what this is! My story started a few years ago when I would occasionally wake with a rapid heart rate (about 140bpm). Very scary. By last April I was having multiple attacks per night. Same pattern...go to bed...racing heart at 1am, 3am and 5am and sometimes when I woke for work at 7am. Would take me ages to calm in down and occasionally it would be so fast that I was terrified it would stop. By August I was in a terrible state. Sleep deprived with continuing symptoms. The GP had no answers but was sure there was nothing serious wrong after testing my heart (try telling your heart that in the early hours when your heart is pounding away!) so I did some research myself. It seemed the most likely cause was a form of sleep apnea caused by a weak diaphragm. I worked this out as each bout came after an episode of REM sleep. So I started a little regime to strengthen my diaphragm. Each day I did 150 crunches followed by ‘sack breathing’ and other diaphragm strengthening yoga exercises. By November my symptoms had started to disappear. By now...mid January...I maybe wake up once a night with a very slightly increased heart rate. So my answer to anyone who is waking up to a racing heart is....there is hope. At one point my symptoms were so severe that I wrote out my will and funeral service! Keep working at it....it will take months to start seeing the benefits but your symptoms will go if you have the same issue that I did.

Hi GirlAfraid23, did you ever find out what was causing your fast heart rate that wakes you up at night? The same thing happens to me and none of my doctors can figure out why. Sometimes the fast heart rate will go right back down immediately and other times it will continue to be fast and will alternate between fast and regular. It will start to climb, then go back down, then climb again, go back down and keep doing that several times during an episode. When that happens I can feel it pounding in my chest. If I sit or stand up I start to hear it beating in my ears. I am desperate for answers. It is scary. I am always dreaming right before this occurs.


Hello I know this is months back just came across this, Did you find out what it was? I'm 27 years old and same i wake up heart racing i have gone to ER plenty of times and they say anxiety but I'm not sure I get worried. Its hard to calm a fast racing heart at times.

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