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Author Topic: Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate  (Read 119 times)

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Offline Felicia_Kay

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Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate
« on: June 16, 2014, 12:11:50 AM »
About four or five times now, I have woken very suddenly in the middle of the night with my heart pounding harder and racing faster than I have ever felt in my life. During these times I do feel slightly out of breath (though it's not too bad). I also am shivering uncontrollably (not shaking..shivering teeth chattering and all) and feel cold, but am hot to the touch. None of my usual ways to calm down even remotely help during these attacks and they usually last about 30 minutes.

I had an EKG, it came back fine and even had a 48 hour heart monitor that did not pick up anything either. I don't necessarily think whatever is happening is a heart related illness but rather these episodes are symptoms being caused by another illness. I have gotten fairly good at knowing what is my anxiety and what isn't (or at I think I have) and this is one of those things that I just can't seem to shake. I just can't stop thinking it is directly related to a physical illness.

So with all that said, have any of you ever experienced this? Do you believe it to be anxiety or did it end up having a physical culprit? Whether the direct cause was physical or mental was there anything that you could do to treat it or completely prevent it? I haven't had one of these episodes in a few months, but since finding this board I figured I may as well ask about it and see if anyone may be able to relate in anyway?
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Offline rap_Talon

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Re: Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 05:15:43 AM »
This is something I've had a few times myself, and was told that it was anxiety related. Doc couldn't tell me exactly why, but he said that the rapid heartbeat and brief breathlessness were just a result of suddenly waking up. like a swimmer getting out of the pool, and taking a big gulp of air, is what he likened it too. the rapid heart beat is simply an idle body suddenly rushing blood to the organs.
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Offline doug65

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Re: Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 08:58:06 AM »
I've done this as well.
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MOST anxiety happens at the subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state.  - AnxietyZone member Sixpack

Offline Rob783

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Re: Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 11:29:13 AM »
Hey Felicia... have you ever talked to you doctor about sleep apnea?  Do you snore or make noises at night?  I use to have a lot of night episodes till I found out I had sleep apnea.  Basically you stop breathing while your sleeping due to your throat collapsing.  Your brain feels the drop in oxygen and wakes up to open the throat muscles again.  This can happen hundreds of times a night.  You normally don't wake up but when you do its a big rush of anxiety. 
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Offline Felicia_Kay

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Re: Waking in the middle of the night with rapid heart rate
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 02:59:43 PM »
Hey Felicia... have you ever talked to you doctor about sleep apnea?  Do you snore or make noises at night?  I use to have a lot of night episodes till I found out I had sleep apnea.  Basically you stop breathing while your sleeping due to your throat collapsing.  Your brain feels the drop in oxygen and wakes up to open the throat muscles again.  This can happen hundreds of times a night.  You normally don't wake up but when you do its a big rush of anxiety.


I have wondered about sleep apnea, actually. Especially because my mom has it and my three year old son just had surgery to correct his sleep apnea. I honestly don't know if I snore or not, but I do always wake up exhausted in the morning as if I haven't slept at all which I know can also be a huge sign. It's something I'll definitely ask my doctor about. 
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