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What are palpitations: Causes and diagnosis

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Typically, the heartbeats 60 to 80 times per minute. These beats go unnoticed. However, in the presence of some particular factors, well-known heart palpitations may manifest. These can be annoying and distressing symptoms when we feel them, and they can appear on the chest, throat, or neck.

Palpitations are described as a racing heart, as if the chest were jumping or if the soul would come out through the mouth. Although vibrations can indeed result from situations of stress, anguish, fear, or exercise, it is also possible that they indicate a heart problem.

People can feel pulses at different times. One of them is at bedtime. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will answer your questions regarding why I have palpitations when I go to bed.

What are palpitations

The heartbeat happens between 60 and 80 times per minute. Typically, these go unnoticed by human beings. However, when these beats become evident and are perceived, they are known as heart palpitations. They are described as solid and fast beats and intermittent pauses between them.

The heart is a particular organ, it works throughout life, but we do not feel how it works. That is, we do not feel the heartbeat. When they are evident, it is related to a response to some activity or a psychological stimulus. In other cases, palpitations may manifest at rest. There are a variety of factors related to the presence of vibrations:

  • Physical exercise.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Anxiety.
  • Stress.
  • Afraid.
  • Caffeine.
  • It is related to some clinical situations, such as hypoglycemia and hypokalemia.
  • Administration of some medications such as antiasthmatics and antihypertensives.
  • Consumption of drugs such as cocaine.
  • Nicotine.

Why do I have palpitations when I go to bed?

A particular situation is to notice palpitations when lying down. Here we explain what the leading causes of palpitations at bedtime are:

Caffeine consumption

Many people have a habit of drinking caffeinated beverages close to bedtime, and this is a fairly common factor to notice palpitations at rest. Caffeine is a high stimulant of the central nervous system. The most consumed in the world, it can act on the respiratory and heart rhythm, generates a feeling of well-being, euphoria, and motivation, and stimulates the state of wakefulness and alertness. It is estimated that this effect lasts at least between 4 and 6 hours. The best way to avoid heart palpitations before bed is to prevent drinking caffeine-containing beverages close to bedtime.

Nicotine consumption

This habit just before sleeping disturbs the heart rate and acts as a stimulant by increasing the heart rate. Cigarette smoking is the most important cardiovascular risk factor. The incidence of coronary heart disease in smokers is three times higher than in the rest of the population [1]. Experts show that smoking increases the heart rate, altering the rhythm of the heartbeat.

Stress and anxiety

When we go through a period of intense stress or suffer anxiety, it can affect sleep, manifesting primarily in the moments before going to sleep. It is precisely at this moment that the brain subconsciously internalizes everything that happened in the day, reflecting itself in nocturnal palpitations.

Palpitations at bedtime: other causes

Beyond what we have explained, there may be more serious reasons that are related to vibrations at bedtime :

  • Heart disease: some heart conditions manifest with palpitations when lying down. This is due to the double work that the heart performs in this position, seeking to promote the pumping of blood throughout the body. In addition to the intense heartbeat, chest pain and shortness of breath may be evident.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF): This condition is related to the previous point but requires a different section. When a person suffers from congestive heart failure and lies on their left side, they will begin to feel intense vibrations due to excessive pressure on the heart, which makes this condition worse. This condition also manifests itself with fluid retention, unexplained weight gain, and shortness of breath.
  • Pregnancy: some pregnant women may complain of palpitations in the chest when lying down. This is primarily related to hormonal changes during this stage. This is usually temporary, however, if it is persistent, it is essential to go to the gynecologist to rule out that there is another condition.

Palpitations may also occur when lying down in the presence of:

  • Physical activities close to breaking time.
  • Anemia.
  • Fever.
  • Dehydration

How palpitations are diagnosed

Although it is a symptom, vibrations can be diagnosed by measuring the heart rhythm using an electrocardiogram. Beyond this, the doctor may indicate other tests and paraclinical such as:

  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Echocardiogram.
  • Outpatient cardiac monitoring test or Holter.

If the patient attends the moment he has palpitations, the doctor is likely to be able to obtain a record of them, noting when they occur, how long they last, how he feels when they start, and what he was doing when the vibrations began. This point is vital for correctly diagnosing the cause related to the appearance of oscillations.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I have palpitations when I go to bed, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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