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Rapid Heartrate Waking Me Up While Sleeping

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#1 llynnchurch



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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:18 AM

I am very curious if this bothers anyone else, and what could it be? This happens at least three times a week, while I am sleeping at night I will wake up with my heart beating fast and feel horrible like I am going to die.....does this happen to anyone. My husband normally checks it and says it is fast. It also happens worse if I eat late at night....but it is very scary, Is this just POTS? ?

#2 all4family


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:29 AM


I don't know if it is just POTS or not, but I get this. In fact my first symptom ever(at least severe enough that I knew something was wrong.) was I woke up at 1am with numbness down half my body, and a very heavy heartbeat. Every night I am having this recently as I have been feeling real bad. My chest also feels real heavy with this, (often accompanied by the numbness) and the heavyness usually involves the whole trunk of my body. I will be interested to see how many other people get this. It used to wake me up terrified that I was dying, but now I think I have become so used to it I just sleep through it. It takes me about 10 to 30 minutes usually for it to pass in the morning. I hope this symptom will pass for you. Take care.


#3 vemee


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:46 AM

I don't think it is just pots. There may be several conditions that could cause this but the one that sticks out in my mind is a pheochromocytoma which is an adrenal tumor. This condition is not that common but it does mimic pots except you get symptoms while lying down as well as standing up. There are some links about pheos on this site and even though they are tumors the large majority are benign. I'm sure others will come up with more likely answers. It would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about your symptoms but be prepared to argue against the panic attack diagnosis.

#4 shoe


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:58 AM

Yeah, I have this happen. Usually when I'm in a bad patch (like, um, lately). I'm not sure if the rapid, hard heartbeats are waking me, or if it is from my rolling over or moving an arm in bed or whatever... but yes. Seeing as most of my 24 hour Holter time was spent lying down, and my average rate was 95 bpm for the period... I am guessing that it happens a lot and doesn't wake me up too. It is really disconcerting, that's for sure.

I haven't been diagnosed with POTS (as of yet) but they are certain there is some form of dysautonomia going on. I will always feel slightly more comfortable reclining (at an angle), but I never feel great. A lot of why I wake up early in the morning has to do with that heart thing... by the time 5-5:30 rolls around, my heart is thudding every time a move a finger, and I've soaked the sheets with sweat so that my husband's side of the bed is soggy too, and I figure my really overly inadequate meds at least help with this a teeeeeeny bit, so I might as well get up and take them (so I can come lie down again in a half hour, but at least I can be more comfortable doing so, and hey, that's something).

So I don't know if it's just POTS, per se, but I've had every other avenue and system that could do such things poked and photographed and stuff, and they've all been in the clear. It's (without saying) probably worth mentioning to your doc (or even just calling the office and leaving a question with a nurse or nurse practitioner, if you feel they're on the ball). But definitely know what you mean... and have it happen regularly.

#5 EarthMother


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 12:19 PM

Episodic bursts of adrenaline can happen with hyperadrenergic POTS (and in my case also with perimenapause!)

Last summer I had this happening all the time ... realized that in my case it was probably in part caused by hypoglycemia. My blood sugar was dropping out at 2 or 3 in the morning routinely. It took me about 6 months for dietary changes to staballize my blood sugar and I don't notice the night shakes as often any more. I will however still wake up with heart pounding after (or during) a vivid dream.

Things you may want to jot down (for your own piece of mind, or to collect to chat with your PCP about) is what time it is when it happens, how fast is it going (do you have a heart rate monitor or blood pressure cuff that simple and quick?), how long does it take before it comes back down? What you ate the night before?

Sometimes these notes help to sort out what is going on :) ... sometimes its just something to do while we are waiting for it to pass! :D

Hang in there.

#6 MomtoGiuliana


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 03:45 PM

When I first started to develop POTS symptoms, this was my first bad symptom--wakening at night with a very fast heartrate, and also numbness and heaviness in my limbs. I still remember how very scary it was. It was what ultimately took me to the ER for the first time with POTS. Of course I was told I was having panic attacks and that I needed to manage stress (my life was not that stressful). It took several more years before I was diagnosed with POTS.

I don't ever get this symptom anymore...and over time my symptoms are in general manageable and minimal, other than occasional flare ups. So, hopefully this will be your experience as well.

However, as others have noted, this COULD be caused by something else and it would be good if your dr would eliminate these other causes.

#7 summer


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Posted 15 June 2009 - 04:31 PM

I wake with this too, usually with me it is very early morning, like 5 am or so. I never feel really scared with it, just annoyed and it keeps me from falling back to sleep. I am not sure if it just starts up spontaneously, or if it starts when I am rolling over or moving around in bed.


#8 HoudiniCat


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Posted 16 June 2009 - 08:26 AM

This was one of my first symptoms too. When I told my doc about it he said it wasn?t uncommon and ?that?s what puts the P in POTS? ? rolling over/changing positions during sleep would easily trigger the fast HR, numbness in limbs, etc. As my symptoms have improved over the years, I never get that anymore so I?m pretty sure it was POTS-related.

#9 Kathy_Ireland


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Posted 17 June 2009 - 07:17 PM

I have this too when I go through a bad patch. It's incredibly uncomfortable. I find when my symptoms really flare up that just turning over can send my heart rate through the roof while I'm awake and it seems like it's even worse when I'm asleep. I find it's particularly awful if I roll onto my tummy in the night. I have never really had the presense of mind to take my pulse in the middle of the night when it's woken me...I'm usually feeling too bad when that happens.
I have had 2 holter monitors that I've worn overnight in the past and both have picked up pulse rates of 150 at times while I was sleeping. I was going through a good patch when I had both monitors and these high pulse runs didn't wake me up at all. Sometimes when they do make me up at night I'm a bit afraid to take my pulse in case they're higher than this and freak me out! <_<
As ever with potsplace, I'm glad to see that I'm not alone .:wub:

#10 northerndarlene


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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:16 PM

This was my first symptom, and felt very ill when this was happening. I use to be afraid to go to sleep at night. Then I was diagnosed with POTS, and put on lopressor and lexapro. I do not get the tachycardia at night anymore.

#11 fire_lupine06


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Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:21 PM

I cant nap due to rapid heartbeats/ pvcs when I lay down.