Please help! Sudden Onset of Rapid Hea... - Arrhythmia Alliance

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Please help! Sudden Onset of Rapid Heart Beats and Nighttime Palpitations During Sleep


Does anyone have nighttime palpitations during sleep or sudden onset of rapid heart beats? The symptoms are driving me crazy and any advice is greatly appreciated.

I'm 28 years old female. Since young, I have elevated heart rate (normally above 100 bpm, but not too high, during daytime no matter what I'm doing and my heart rate would go up easily with slight exercise, but it would gradually go down as night approaches and completely normal during my sleep). Although I have this issue, it never really bothered me and I didn't feel any symptoms or discomfort.

My doctor was concerned about my elevated heart rate and recommended me to consult a cardiologist. So about two years ago, I started to visit cardiologists, went through various heart checks including blood tests, electrocardiograms, echocardiogram, 24-hr Hotler, treadmill test, and one month Holter. Everything showed normal, just showing I have elevated heart rates at random times. So my cardiologist diagnosed me as Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia (IST) and I started taking low dosage beta blockers to control my heart rate.

In the first year after I start taking beta blocker, I felt great. My heart rate did went down and I felt more comfortable than before. However, after the first year, I started to have sudden onset of tachycardia that happens at random times, with a lot of them happen during nighttime when I'm sleeping. For example, I would suddenly wake up from my sleep finding my heart pounding, mostly around 120 bpm - 130 bpm, but sometimes would go up to 140 bpm to 160 bpm (the highest is 175 bpm). It also accompanies with icy and wet hands and feet, sometimes dizziness, numb hands, weakness, nausea, and spasms. It normally lasts about 3-5 minutes and my heart rate then gradually goes down (occasionally I would have 2nd onset after about 10-20 minutes of returning to normal heart rates). The Holter captured it few times and showing as sinus rhyme (so I guess it's not dangerous).

When it happens during my sleep, it really disrupts my sleep as I find myself hard to fall back to sleep again. Sometimes it happens multiple times per night and my sleep is basically trashed and I'll find myself as a zombie the next day. Actually I find myself as a zombie 30% of the time since I have the symptoms about 10 days per month every month. I've talked to my cardiologist about this and I experimented different beta blockers but none works well. My cardiologist has no clue how to fix my problem and can only guarantee me that it's not a dangerous condition and I won't die from it.

But I do feel like dying every time I woke up from my sleep with crazy heart beats and other symptoms. I'm increasingly depressed because I'm not getting good sleep. I'm getting enough of enjoying my good time then the symptoms suddenly attack and ruins my good day.

I don't know how I went through all of these in the past year and I'm getting enough of it. Does anyone have similar issues, know a way to fix it, or know how to cope with it? Any advice is deeply appreciated!!

8 Replies

You are not alone! I too would be great full to see if anyone replying so with help too.

I was diagnosed with sinus tachycardia due to recurrent blood clots in my lungs. But since April it's getting worse my heart rate was 174 and wouldn't come down and ended up in hospital I'm on beta blockers and started on a low dose of 1.25 but again 3 weeks ago I woke up with sweats and my heart rate of 145, it's completely out of control and my palpatations are out of control, they have raised my dosage to 2.50 now but I am so fed up with all. Whilst in the hospital they called it super ventricular tachycardia I now it's not life threatening but it is so uncomfortable.

huangmy1328 in reply to maejane

Yea, I always panic when I have an attack although I know it's not life threatening, but I can't control myself to be not anxious...

What kind of beta blocker are you taking? I've been taking metoprolol tartrate, metoprolol succinate, and I'm taking bisoprolol fumarate, but none works well for me...

maejane in reply to huangmy1328

I'm on bisoprolol and calcium blockers but they don't help much it still happens out the blue. We can't seem to get to the bottom of it either. Sometimes I feel as if I'm going mad.

Yes! I also have been diagnosed with IST for 4 years now (I'm 42). I have been through bouts of exactly what you describe, and in fact I'm in a bit of one now. You will have to journal and play with lifestyle factors to get to the bottom of it. I think mine are caused by increased stress, decreased sleep and sometimes alcohol consumption even at low levels. So what I found was a vicious cycle. The more they happened, the less rested my body was and the more they happened. Unlike you, I fall right back asleep after my episodes and sometimes can't remember them until much later the next day, but it still effects my body because I feel drained the next day and they often cause me a migraine. So, when they start, I try to get to bed earlier, do something to combat stress, and if drinking regularly, back off. Sorry, I know it's miserable and good luck figuring yours out... and yes, they can't hurt you but it's still terrible.

huangmy1328 in reply to 2k2d

Yes, I also found myself more likely to have an attack when I'm more tired, sleep deprived, or taking caffeine; so now I don't drink any tea, coffee, and no alcohol for sure. But sometimes I still get it even though I'm feeling well.

I think I'll be more focused on improving my lifestyle. Thanks for the advice!

I have had a halter monitor on overnight and apparently have Super ventricular heartbeats while asleep and i'm not always aware, but wonder whether this could be why i feel so tired at times. I have occasionally woken up with sudden pounding heart and couldn't stand up properly, totally off balance, but have never had any diagnosis. I do worry that it happens and I am not aware of it, so just hope it is not dangerous. It seems harder to get a halter monitor fitted for any length of time these days, they usually only give out for 24hrs which isn't really good enough to catch the symptoms.

huangmy1328 in reply to heart22

When I had palpitations at night I always find myself very tried the next day since it disrupts the sleep (I feel it would still disrupt the sleep even if you don't actually wake up), so I think it could possibly be the reason for your tiredness. I've had an cardiac event monitor before that recorded my ECG up to almost a month (I used the Zio Patch), and I think it can better catch symptoms since 24hr holter may still be too short to catch important symptoms.

thank you for your reply, keep well.

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