Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Introducing Mood 24/7, a new tool that helps you track your mood from day to day using your mobile phone. Try it today!

Saturday, February 26, 2011 sharon, Community Member, asks

Q: i often get up frightened with strong heart palpitations while sleeping, can you tell me what could be causing this?

Answer This
Answers (8)
Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
2/28/11 9:45pm

 

Sharon

 

Thank you for your question and welcome to AnxietyConnection.com. I am not a medical professional and would not be able to give you medical advice.

 

You don't mention whether you have been diagnosed with anxiety and if this is ongoing or if this just began recently. Some people with anxiety do have anxiety attacks while sleeping or have difficulties with early morning anxiety.

 

Tips for Coping with Early Morning Anxiety

 

Morning Anxiety

 

As far as palpitations, these are frequently not dangerous but if you have not done so, I would suggest speaking with your doctor to rule out any physical cause for the increased heart rate.

 

Heart Palpitations and Anxiety Attacks: Should You Be Worried?

 

How to Manage Palpitations

 

I hope this helps

 

Eileen

Reply
lori, Community Member
9/10/11 6:52pm

I agree the same thing happens and it is because of anxiety, he will be sleeping and wake up gasping .which then turns into panic attacks, they checked him for sleep apeana but they said no, and heart palpitations is a part of anxiety. but also could be a hiatal hernia, low patasium, reflux, also i use to get them bad and it waw due to acid reflux. but more likly if your getting them while haveing a anxiety attack it s probably to do with that

Reply
susan threlkeld, Community Member
10/21/11 12:36pm

I had that really bad before I was treated for hypothyroid. I would have severe panic attacks first thing in the morning, and sometimes would just feel frozen, and very nauseated, even have dry heaves. I tried to tell the doctors over and over again that I felt sure that I had a thyroid problem, but my lab tests just didn't suit them because I was borderline hypo. I also had intermitted severe fatigue spells where I could hardly hold up my head, and it was very difficult to get up in the mornings,

which all these things are better now, even with a small dose of Synthyroid. Part of the problem with diagnosing this is because (I believe) it ebbs and flows, and they just can't catch this doing a lab test once a yr.. Anyway, that's something you might look at. I did have a good bit of stress in my life at the time, still do, but I guess the Thyroid helps you deal with the stress, and it affects the other hormones like cortisol.

Reply
rogerssleep, Community Member
10/26/11 7:22am

This could be a common sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or some other form or degree of sleep disordered breathing.  Many people have different degrees of airway obstruction which are described in different terms such as upper airway resistance syndrome, primary snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome to name a few. You shuold ask a witness to your sleep if you snore.  Even very mild, intermittent snoring can cause significantsleep distrubances. Any degree of snoring is airway obstruction and can be quite variable, even absent at times, during the coarse of a given sleep period in the same night.  There are very affordable methods of screening for this disorder, although the more mild spectrum of airway obstruction is more easily diagnosed with a full polysomnography exam or sleep study.   You should talk about this possiblity with your doctor or a sleep specialist and possibly undergo a simple screening test, especially if you have a history of snoring to any degree.  You don't have to be overweight to have this condition, which is a very common misperception regarding sleep disordered breathing.  There are several other factors that may cause the problem or combine to cause airway obstruction during sleep. When this condition is present, especially to a mild degree it may be undetected by an inexperienced staff, poor collection of sleep data, or certain circumstances present during the evaluation in the sleep laboratory.  If you undergo a sleep study, it should be performed by qualified and experienced medical staff, at an accredited sleep center.  I have seen patients with these same symptoms and in their cases, sleep disordered breathing was the culprit.-Good luck!

Reply
Kira_May, Community Member
11/30/11 6:57pm
I'm not a health expert but I've always chalked it up to anxiety. I pretty much woke up that way all of last year. It was exhausting as heck. I noticed that it would be particularly bad whenever I went to bed even slightly anxious (I was anxious all the time last year, so it was quite often), so I started meditating. And honestly? It helped a bit. I still wake up that way from time to time (it's horrible, isn't it? And you end up feeling like you haven't slept at all, which sucks. What sucks more is that the feeling of fear/anxiousness you woke up with seems to cling to you even when you're up and running...), but, like I said, it's usually when I went to bed feeling anxious. Even a little bit. Reply
Ellenfair, Community Member
1/23/12 5:20am

Hoamirror answering:  I noticed this same thing happening to me when taking a certain high blood pressure medication, Norvasc.  I would wake up with the horrible shortness of breath, pounding heart beat.  The slightest scary thing that happened in my dreams would cause this.  I told my doctor about this.  He just waved it off, as though what I said didn't mean anything to him.  I  knew that if I did not find the cause of this I would surely die in my sleep.  I went to a homeopath and was given skullcap for nerves.  It calmed my body so much that I was able to discontinue one of my high blood pressure meds (with my doctor's consent).  As you might have guessed, it was the Norvasc.  Never was I bothered with those bouts of pounding heart beats and shortness of breath again.  Somehow the Norvasc aggrevates the adrenal gland, which seems to cause too much adrenaline to be secreted.  My doctor died shortly after.  I had to find another doctor.  He prescribed another high blood pressure medicine which did the same as the Norvasc.  That med was Carvedilol.  Aside from those issues with the pounding heart beat and shortness of breath, this med worked great on my blood pressure.  Some of my other issues went away also...urine incontinence, which was great also.  But I could not stand feeling like I was dying every night from the other two negitives.  I asked by doctor to take me off this one also, after explaining these dying symptoms to him.  He was happy to do so.  He  said he had had a patient to die recently in his sleep.  I think the doctor has a very fast mind and may have made a connection.  I  told him to never let anybody tell him that a person died peacefully in their sleep.  Poppycock!   These episodes are anything but peaceful!!!  If any of you are taking some of these meds and are having these symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to change your medications.  Some doctors are thoroughly taken with certain drugs and tend to prescribe them above all others.  They may even know about these horrible side effects of these dreams which cause these episodes.  It's your body and your health.

Reply
Kathryn65, Community Member
4/ 2/12 5:35pm
You did not mention any related desise. but I have the same type of problem and my answer from Mayo was that I was slowly losing my ability to close my eye lids and light was coming in . As this progressed things got scarier -I could not get restful sleep. Finially,I learned from my ophtomoligist that the nerves of my lids were dying and could not close at all and the gap was getting larger. This can feel very frightening. When I went to the dentist ,I thought I had it under control. Towels over my eyes. But, I burned my right optic nerve and had one soccut ulcer as well as an ulcer on the ball . Hurt!!!! Really I want to encourage you to measure the time day and night you use you eyes.watch incoming light time tv and computer use and hat and shades outdoors. Finially use oily wash on your eyes a lot! Now Tempra Pedic bought the design for an eye mask from NASA it covers all openings comfortably .try it for undisturbed rest. I am facing surgery now if anyone had just given me some simple ideas----but I have spinal cerebellur ataxia atrophy reading writing tv light computer outdoorsand activity are now careful watched behaviours if I want some life. Good luck. KLynn Reply
JR, Community Member
10/14/12 3:37pm

In the late 90's I would wake up with a pounding heart that would eventually turn into a panic attack. After a stress test, every organ through ultasound, the next phase was gastro scope.

Forty mil of time release Prilosec and no more naproxen-alieve. I've never had one again after two years of showing up in the ER at 4am unable to even talk in some strange town while travling, blood pressure 240/ 180. I would have never thought ulcer.

Reply
J Wynkoop, Community Member
7/27/13 5:13pm

I was waking up in the middle of a deep sleep with major anixety and crying for a few nights in a row.

Figured out it was the niacin I was taking.

Reply
Diane Espinos, Community Member
1/ 5/14 12:27am

Sleep apnea may be the culprit.  If you snore fairly loudly, wake gasping for air and in the morning you wake up feeling tired and find it hard to get your moving to do anything you may have sleep deprevation from apnea.  

 

On the other hand- I was having the same problem - waking with what felt like anxiety when I was using the allergy medication flonase(sp?).  

Reply
Answer This

Important:
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By sharon, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/14/14, First Published: 02/26/11