Heart pounding and elevated every night as I try to sleep?

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Three weeks ago before I went on holiday I experienced a suspected panic attack. I went to see the doctor who checked my heart, blood pressure, oxygen levels etc and all seemed normal. She put it down to my anxiety, however every night as I get into bed after about 5-10 minutes my I can hear my heart get louder and pounding in my ears, it feels faster. This has been happening for 3 weeks, so I'm not getting much sleep each night. I went back to see a different doctor who ran tests and she seemed to believe it's all anxiety related however has asked for an ECG next Friday just for piece of mind. What I don't understand is that I'm fine during the day and it only happens at night? My mind is recked with thoughts of undiagnosed heart disease, over active thyroid etc I've had blood tests a year ago and they were all perfectly fine. Drs don't seem too concerned but I am!

Any one else?


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24 Replies

  • Posted

    Sounds like you associating and reinforcing going to bed with anxiety and panic. Each time you do it it is becoming worse. Maybe try some relaxation exercises, stretching or yoga before going to bed.
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  • Posted

    I agree, Matt.

    You have time to be more aware of your heart beating when you get into bed. Try some deep breathing exercises when it happens.

    I am sure that this is anxiety and I am also sure that there is nothing wrong with you.

    Your ECG will be normal when you have it.

    You do have a tendency to dwell on things like this, Matt. You also have thoughts in your mind that the doctor is wrong  and they have missed something.

    Don't let anxiety control you. Learn to control it.

    Best wishes,


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    • Posted

      Have you had a recent physical exam? usually they would catch that stuff in your bloodwork or in an exam. Since you said a year ago you did maybe go back for another exam. That makes sense then you wouldnt have ro second guess it. 
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    • Posted

      Hi, Matt,

      I'm a Registered Nurse and I understand that you are having difficulty believing the results of your tests. That in itself points to the OCD Health Anxiety diagnosis.

      If you had a thyroid problem it would be obvious during the day as well as during the night. And, as I already said, thyroid problems are not life-threatening and are easily treated; also, you had blood tests done a year ago and your thyroid function was normal. Why have you got into such a state of anxiety about a thyroid problem, anyway?

      I really do understand how you are perceiving what is going on. You are very frightened that the doctors have missed something major. The ECG on Friday will, I hope, calm you down. Ask for a copy and if they give it to you, email it to me if you want. Send me a PM and I will give you my email address.

      I am 100% sure that because this only happens at night, it cannot be a problem with your heart. All heart problems manifest themselves all day long, not just at night. You are lying in bed after a busy day and hoping to drop off to sleep, when suddenly you can feel your heart beating. This scares you, your body releases adrenaline, and your heart beats faster and you can feel it pounding away, which terrifies you into believing that you're about to have a heart attack.

      I honestly believe that you are suffering from severe anxiety. I know that you find it difficult to believe, but the many people on this forum who suffer in the same way are trying to help you.

      Please let us know how your ECG went. It can be read immediately so there shouldn't be any delay in finding out if it's normal or not. I have already said that I believe it will be normal.

      The problem, though, is this - will YOU believe it's normal when they tell you that it is? Because you don't seem to have any faith in test results so far. That in itself, is an indication of Health Anxiety Disorder.

      We can and will help you through this, Matt. At least we understand what you're going through and have felt the same sensations ourselves.

      Love Tess xx

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  • Posted

    Hi this sounds just like me ive always being confident and last last year i suffered a panic attack for the first time. Heart beating fast sweating shaking. It took over my body . I ended up in hospital too after my heart rate jumped to 145 beats per minuite. It also was alot worse at nite just like you. I dont belive in medication but at this point i gave in and im now on propranolol which has stopped the crazy heart racing. I want to tell u it will get better. I nwver thought it would and still struggle but talking helps alot too. 😊x

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  • Posted

    It can't be heart disease, Matt, because that too would cause problems 24/7.

    What arre your plans for dealing with this anxiety after you have your ECG, which will be normal?

    I think you should be trying techniques to control anxiety, not going from doctor to doctor and not believing what they say, which is a waste of everyone's time.

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    • Posted

      I had my ECG on Friday and the result was normal. However the nurse didn't fill me with confidence when she couldn't explain the sharp chest pains and pressure I randomly get. I've been getting these sharp pains and pressure for the past few days. I've also had a bad head and my nose has had really dark (black) blood in it. Obviously I'm thinking the worst, otherwise I feel ok. I have had some stress with work but nothing I can't usually handle. I have a follow up appointment tomorrow with the doctor thankfully. Anxiety sucks, it makes me worry about things that once over I didn't care about.

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  • Posted

    If you want to know FOR SURE that you don't have a heart problem, schedule an echocardiodiagram. That way they can see all structures of the heart through ultrasound waves. I guarantee its anxiety though, and its hard to get rid of. I had a bad panic attack 3 months ago, thought I was having a heart attack or something. I went to the ER did all of the tests you can imagine. All results came back fine. My anxiety will come and go but whenever my heart skips a beat or beats fast and forcefully, I know there's nothing wrong with me.

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  • Posted

    So either you get panicked every night before bed because you expect to hear your heartbeat and have an attack or maybe you have SVT (basically fast heart beat that comes and goes) or something similar and not dangerous. If you want get a holter monitor done so they can catch what your heart is doing before bed.
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