Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling your heart beat very fast? Do you notice palpitations and a very fast pulse? Although it can be a terrifying experience, the truth is that it is a very common alteration of the heart rate. It usually goes away after a few minutes and is called tachycardia or night palpitations.
Blood pressure is the main cause
The main characteristic of these palpitations is a sensation of a strange heartbeat and fluttering, a heartbeat too fast. Palpitations in the chest, neck, or throat may be noted. When this happens, in addition to the heart rate, blood pressure is also altered and this can reach very high values. Remember that for healthy adults an ideal blood pressure is greater than 90/60 and less than 120/80, below or above this you should consult a doctor.
Although it is normal for the heart to control blood pressure, sometimes it can also be the tension that directs the rhythm of the heart . Most people have the lowest blood pressure while they sleep, when the body is at rest. It rises slowly during the day and is usually at its highest point in the afternoon. In some rare cases, however, blood pressure can drop so low at rest, especially at night, that the body cannot receive the proper amount of blood to oxygenate itself and in an attempt to meet its needs, the The heart will beat faster to deliver more oxygen-rich blood to all organs.
In severe cases where blood pressure drops dramatically (less than 90/60), the heart may beat so fast that it may appear to be doing so violently inside your chest, as if it wants to come out. In these cases you may notice chest pain , shortness of breath, and even dizziness. Episodes can last up to 10 minutes and cause your heartbeat to speed up and slow down again and again. Added to this is the anxiety produced by the sensation; anxiety accelerates the heart rate and this generates a vicious circle in which both things feed on each other. Breathing deeply and being certain that the episode is going to pass helps to lower the intensity of palpitations.
Other times nocturnal tachycardias can originate from more serious causes such as sleep apnea , thyroid disorders (Graves’ disease) or heart problems, such as sinus tachycardia . It is advisable to consult your doctor if the arrhythmias occur frequently. Your cardiologist will check you up and ask for some tests to diagnose the cause of the arrhythmias, such as an electrocardiogram , a Holter or an echocardiogram .
In other cases, people who sleep on one side of the body and not on their back or stomach, palpitations are more common due to the way the body is bent and how this shape affects blood pressure that begins to develop internally. . On the other hand, when sleeping on your side and bent, the pressure exerted on the stomach then affects the esophagus, which is located behind the left atrium of the heart; thus this pressure makes you feel “palpitations” although these are not related to the rhythm of the heart.
How to prevent and relieve palpitations
The following are some tips that can be followed to treat this condition:
- Meditating before sleep helps you fall asleep in a calm way. Doing yoga and relaxation exercises can also lower stress levels .
- Do physical activity every day.
- Follow consistent meal and bedtime and wake times.
- Follow a healthy diet low in sugar, fat and salt.
- Eat little at night to facilitate digestion.
- Drink a lime or chamomile before bedtime, or when palpitations occur.
- Do breathing exercises with a paper bag to help slow breathing.
Remember that they don’t only happen at night
Although in most cases they are harmless, the most frequent cause of these heart rhythm disturbances that are triggered during sleep are related to stress , nervousness, anxiety or worry. The episodes can also occur after a heavy dinner or can be unleashed by nightmare. These arrhythmias can also be associated with the abuse of stimulants such as coffee, tea, and especially alcohol or nicotine from tobacco. Coffee can make easly with coffee maker machine
If they happen continuously you need to seek medical attention.