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Old 09-11-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
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Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

I sometimes wake up with a racing heart. It could go to 120 bpm. Along with that my blood pressure elevates to high numbers. Stays that way for maybe an hour or two. Dr. says it's anxiety. Had EKG and ECHO. Normal Results!
Is this common with anxiety problem? If so, what do you do for it? It has been happening more frequently lately and I've had anxiety issues. Anyone relate to this? Very frightening to say the least.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

This happens to me! All I know is sometimes (and this happened last night) if I wake up, or if I have had trouble falling asleep my heart rate jumps up to what I consider to be too fast of a resting rate. I'm having to assume its anxiety reltated.

I try not to use pills, but when I feel like it could escalate into an "attack" I take some xanax. I did last night around midnight and I ended up falling asleep. I wonder if this happens when we wake up and we are startled and then focus on our heartbeat right away.

Anyhow, I think that for anxiety sufferers this is not out of the ordinary.

Shelly

 
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

I was having this problem due to some anxiety about some female problems I was having but when I learned that all was well this went away. Are you really worried about some health issue or other problems at this time? I think I saw where Shelly was going to the Dr., so we still have these issues on our minds and we are trying to sleep and our thoughts won't let us. It is terrible I know that. Blessings

Last edited by shirley07; 09-11-2008 at 11:14 AM.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Lately I've been worried about many issues including health. I don't understand why during the day I don't have any problems, like heart racing, etc.. It only happens to me during the middle of my sleep. I fall asleep and maybe two hours later I awaken feeling lousy with nervous feeling and racing heart. So now I'm fixated on the heart issue. So if it's not one thing to worry about it's another.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

I've got exactly the same problem at the moment. Either not being able to fall asleep in the first place or waking up with a racing heart and unable to get back to sleep. It's doubly worse for me because I already have a huge heart health anxiety (because my father had heart problems). At this stage I take half a xanax to help me get back to sleep but I'm also going on antidepressants because I think it could be anxiety related. I'm starting to dread going to bed at night in case 'it happens' (the racing heart etc). I hate it because my husband's a really light sleeper and I sometimes end up getting up and lying on the couch so as not to disturb him. I have generalised anxiety disorder as well and over the years I've had problems with sleeping on and off.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Trix.......I hate going to bed at night. I have been having more frequent bouts lately as I have a lot of extra anxiety in my life right now. I take a very small piece of Xanax also to help me get back to sleep. The Xanax calms my heart rate also. I try to tell myself that this has happened in the past and I've lived through it and it's going to be fine. I put my wrists under cold water and actually the other night I put some ice in a plastic bag and applied it to the back of my neck. I read that cold can slow the rate. I have also beared down like I am having a bowel movement, which is supposed to slow the heart. I guess it all works <BECAUSE> my rate does go down within the hour. Then I worry, what happens if it never went down. Always worry. Being anxious is making this happen and being anxious is not going to help the situation. I don't want to go on other meds as I am worried about side effects. I don't know how I'm going to get through this new bout of heart rate problems. Every night when I get into bed I remind my husband how much I hate going to sleep. He then rolls over and starts snoring. I envy him.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-11-2008 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Please always use whole words in your posts.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Yes - my husband's the same - asleep the moment his head hits the pillow. I've tried the wrists under cold water thing too, the bearing down, apparently if you hold your nose and make like you're breathing out that can help too . I was fine going to sleep until about three weeks ago when it all started again. I've just had a MIrena IUD put in to control my heavy periods and Im worried that's going to play around with my sleep too. I'm 40 and I wonder if I'm getting perimenopausal. I wake up a bit hot sometimes too.

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-11-2008 at 04:15 PM.

 
Old 09-11-2008, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

I was the same as you described = okay during the day but just as soon as you try to sleep -bam it hits you -like you are trying to run a marathon. Do you take a beta blocker like Inderal to slow yours down. I take a small dosage for mvp so that really helps with this to. Pray you sleep well tonight -

 
Old 09-11-2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

The doctor suggested a beta blocker to me but I'm a bit scared of medication (except xanax!!). Maybe a small amount would be okay. does inderal give you any side effects?

 
Old 09-11-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Inderal gives me side effects. My dr prescribed 10 mgs as needed so I've been doing that but I noticed if I take them every night I get heartburn from it. A few years ago I took another beta blocker (atenolol) and that pill wrecked havoc on me so I'm afraid of too much inderal (propranolol). Though it does help I am taking it on an as needed basis like if I wake up with a rapid heart beat I reach for the xanax and the propranolol together. What a way to live!

 
Old 09-12-2008, 06:07 AM   #11
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Yes Looly what a way to live. I also have inner ear vertigo so this really make life interesting. The propranolol to me was a miracle when I first discovered that I had the MVP - with my heart racing for no reason - I just take the 10m as needed and I have little side effects - the good it does out weighs the few side effects. I have been taking this for years though - I could not take the name brand for some reason my body would not break it down but the gereriac (NSP) brand propranolol works great. MY dr suggested that I try the atenol a once a day pill but I have not so far - I like the idea of taking something that works as soon as I take it and this does for me - in just a matter of minutes it stops the racing heart plus it helps with anxiety plus like you I take a little xanax. Like you my husband does not worry about on single thing if his b/P goes up well oh well - I will just go to the Dr and get a different med while we women think why is this happening - what are the long term effects etc. When I was going though the anxiety the last month or so with female problems and it did not help that these crazy dr's make you wait 2 or 3 weeks between tests then don't bother to call you with the results - I had to have a cervical biospy (lots of fun -yikes) and I kept waiting and waiting and they never called - finally my husband said I have had enough of this I am calling and if I have to I will go down there. Well when he called they had the results already filed - normal on everything - and were not even going to call me, and me sitting around worring my head off. My b/p was spiking during this time - I even went to my md once because I was worried - it was up to 140 over 90 but they just brushed it off and said to take more pills - my b/p has always been normal to low when I was younger - now everything is falling apart as I am in my 50's. How old are you Looly? Do you think you might be in menopause causing this? Well later - hope both you ladies do well today. Blessings SH

 
Old 09-12-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Shirley...you asked how old I am. I am turning 60. So the menopause thing is not an issue as that was years ago. I was on Valium for anxiety sleep issues for many years. After a while I noticed I was having some side effects that I didn't like so I got myself off. Getting off of benzos is probably the worst experience of my life. Anxiety got so out of hand it was ridiculous. I am still suffering the withdrawal effects but I won't take another valium Though when my anxiety gets bad like the racing heart episodes awakening me I take a .25 mg xanax and halve it and halve it again so I end up just taking a very small piece to quiet my heart along with the propranolol. THis works for me. So many of us rely on benzos...valium, xanax, klonopin are not reliable drugs to take because of the addiction problem. I actually wasn't addicted as I only took a 5 mg to go to sleep every night but my body reacted terribly when I stopped the drug. I guess it was dependent on it. My mind wasn't but my body was. I think a lot of my anxiety issues now are stemming from the fact that I withdrew from valium but the sleep / racing heart problem existed prior to this. I believe though it's an anxiety issue. At least I want to believe that.

 
Old 09-12-2008, 06:17 PM   #13
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Most definately it is an anxiety issue - I know it can make your heart race and your b/p go up in just a minute. I have made the mistake of taking my b/p when I get scared or anxiety attack and scare myself it is so high - then I can calm down and in a little while it wil go back down but once this happens it stays in the back of my mind - is my pressure up? am i damaging my arteries, etc. I am a hypocondrack (nsp) or so my husband says. (lol) I also try to use as little of the xanax as possible as I know it is an addictive drug but I have learned that I can take it a little while and stop for weeks and don't even notice. I don't have an addictive nature. My husband does - his way of thinking is well if a little works lets double that and on and on. Looly I hope we can get our self assurance back and get this behind us. Gosh I am sick of feeling like this also. Have a restful weekend! Shirley

 
Old 09-13-2008, 10:16 AM   #14
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

Yea, my BP always goes up with my anxiety, when i was in the hospital it was around , i don't remember the first number but the second one was at like 95-109 and kept going up and down for the 7 hours i was there. I was like " look my Bp isn't going to go down until you let me out" The IV of beta blockers didn't even work to lower it, nor did the pill.

While the racing heart and BP spikes can cause damage over the years, i just want to put you at ease and if anybodies arteries/heart should be enlarged/damaged it should be mine! Just from all the years and years of anxiety! But just to let you know after numerous tests everything is fine. It would really take years of constant high BP and a racing heart that doesn't return to a normal beating pattern to do damage. My cardiolgist wasn't too concerned with my high BP spikes when i told him, so try and relax. For an example, powerlifters (bodybuilders) were tested to see how high their BP goes when they lift heavy The numbers were like in the 300's!!! Just to put things into perspective. My psych told me that no matter how embarrassed we get, we can't have a stroke from anxiety and our faces turning red, it can't get that high.

Also, the beta-blocker i'm taking now, you know whats weird? It keeps my heart rate down! But i'm so used to it racing, that i still get that butterfly feeling in my chest! therefore it STILL feels like it racing, yet when i feel it it's beating slow! Just from the years and years of it racing, my brain is still expecting that symptom to be there. Just goes to show how this anxiety is all in our brain!

Last edited by Lourage; 09-13-2008 at 10:23 AM.

 
Old 09-13-2008, 10:24 AM   #15
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Re: Waking Up In Middle of Night with Racing Heart

well I'm up at 3 in teh morning again with my heart racing and it doesn't feel like anxiety it feels like a heart problem! I get really scared because I'm only 40 and my kids are still young and I get really worried I'm going to die from it.

 
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