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Thread: banging heart overnight

  1. #1
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    banging heart overnight

    Please can someone help me to stop panicking...

    I know if I get gassy or bloated it makes my heart pound, usually when I go to bed. Normally I can lie there awake, feeling like a giant heart-beat, not able to ignore it until I eventually fall asleep. When I wake up in the morning it is normally resolved.

    Last night was awful. I have a Kardia monitor, and if I use that in one of these "attacks" it usually shows me that the fast banging heartrate isn't as bad as it feels. Last night it was showing between 110 - 120 bpm. Regular, but very strong in my chest. Kardia said tachycardic, but no fibrillation present. I was gassy, went to the loo way more than usual (sorry!) and really struggled to sleep. Woke up this morning and it was still 111 bpm and I felt awful. Stomach still not right. Heart seems to have slowed to 82, thank goodness.

    I was sure I was going to have to call the doctor this morning when I got up, I felt so bad. I haven't been so panicked about my heart rate for ages now, but last night was really horrible. I'd love to hear from someone who knows why this happens and can help me keep calm. My big problem used to be ectopic beats, I now take flecainide which has helped so much with that. I really don't want to go back to hovering over my pulse and worrying all the time...

  2. #2
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    I'm sorry, Rosekay, this must be very tough for you.

    That said, your best bet would be to get rid of the monitor, start working on your breathing and learn to accept these episodes. I get them sometimes, they're a horrible nuisance but if I focus on mindful breathing it fades off in time.

    If you treat these episodes as unimportant, you might find they start to fade off.
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  3. #3
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    Thank you for that, BlueIris - I did try to breathe slowly and count, but it didn't seem to work last night. I think I must have eaten too much, I will have to make sure I don't eat for a couple of hours before bed, though I don't know why eating or gas would make a heart go into overdrive. It does help to know you're not alone with it x

  4. #4
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    I get nights when it doesn't work, too. If it's a possibility, try looking for sleep music on YouTube, or listening to a podcast?
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  5. #5
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    It's actually pretty common for your heart rate to rise after you eat. If you eat a big meal full of carbs, even more so. Pizza is one of the worst triggers for me, if I eat a lot of takeaway pizza my heart rate will rise by about 20bpm for hours.

    I think BlueIris is right though, the worst thing you can possibly do is monitor your heart rate as the only possible outcome is compounding your digestion heart rate with an anxiety heart rate.

    I also know that if I'm bloated/gassy/IBS'y at night, I will sleep terribly and wake up multiple times with a banging chest. This is simply because your body is on 'alert'.

    Again, BlueIris is correct, mentally treat these episodes as medically irrelevant. Your body/heart is just doing what it feels it needs to do to process your food. It's your interpretation of what it's doing that's actually causing the problem.

  6. #6
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    That's really helpful, Ankietyjoe. I don't know anyone else who gets this (my husband doesn't, though he's very supportive and reminds me it's the bloating etc causing the fast heart) - I know in my head that's what's happening, but when it's bad, it's hard to be sensible - especially in the night when you're the only one awake. It's great to hear from people who actually know how it feels, I'm very grateful

  7. #7
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    Loads of people get it, just none that you know

    I've had it for years, and even now I don't really suffer with anxiety any more it still happens regularly. I just don't pay attention to it any more.

  8. #8
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    I'm trying to ignore it, not easy! Can anyone suggest a relaxation technique to try to calm it please? I do slow breaths, counting to 3 or 4 - then find I get out of breath, so I'm obviously doing it wrong! It's interesting that a lot of people say they feel this banging in their neck or ears, I only feel it in my chest so it's like a big drum thudding through me. I also wonder why bloating, IBS actually makes this happen - anyone know?

  9. #9
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    I focus on the sensation of my breath going through my body rather than counting - I feel it going through my nose, and my diaphragm expanding. Once it's comfortably expanded, I hold it for a second and then slowly exhale, again, concentrating on the diaphragm contracting and the breath going out through either my nostrils or my mouth.
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  10. #10
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    Re: banging heart overnight

    I think there's a misconception that if you breath slowly it can magically stop any anxiety you're feeling, but it can't. It's just one action you can take that will help your body calm down more quickly than if you don't do it. So for example if you feel your heart pounding and immediately start checking your pulse and fretting...your anxiety may last hours. If you do the opposite, breath slowly and tell yourself it'll pass, it might help you feel calmer in 5-10 minutes or so. You'll still feel anxious most likely, but you'll care a lot less and eventually learn to just let it be.

    I bet you're not doing it wrong at all, it's just an expectation thing.

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