8 Reasons You Wake Up With Your Heart Racing Pounding

There are times when you might anticipate having a racing heart. Such as before giving a significant speech in front of an audience, during a spooky movie, or after a challenging cardio session. However, experiencing heart palpitations while asleep can be concerning. 

Heart fluttering or palpitations, which can feel like your heart is hammering, can be startling. Still, they typically do not portend anything harmful. If the palpitations continue, they can be a sign of an issue.


The most common reasons you wake up with your heart racing & pounding at a fast rate are medication and your blood sugar being low. However, a fever or stress are other common reasons to wake up with a pounding heart.

Here are other topics we cover in this article:

  • Hormones
  • How to stop heart palpitations
woman being seen by the doctor

Here are some causes of a racing heart rate when walking up, pounding so fast it may be time to see a medical professional. It can cause you to wake up with a tight chest every morning, especially when lying on the left side.

Reasons You Wake Up With Your Heart Racing & Pounding At a Fast Rate

Here are the reasons you wake up with your heart racing & pounding at a fast rate.

1. Your Blood Sugar Is Low

Your heartbeat might be impacted by hypoglycemia, often known as low blood sugar. Why? According to ADA(American Diabetes Association), your body releases epinephrine. It’s also known as adrenaline and is released when your blood glucose levels go too low. And the increase in adrenaline causes heart palpitations.

According to the ADA, further signs of low blood sugar may include:

  • Trembling, being anxious
  • Feeling hot, chilly, and clammy
  • Impatience
  • Dizziness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Skin color fading out
  • Lack of energy
  • Nightmares

2. It’s a Side Effect of a Medication

Heart palpitations at night can be a side effect of your medication. Several drugs may impair the heart’s capacity to contract and relax or cause it to beat more frequently. The following medications are among them:

  • Inhalers for asthma 
  • Beta adsorbents
  • Thyroid hormone and antiarrhythmic drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • A few dietary and herbal supplements

Note: Consult your doctor immediately if you believe your racing heart is a prescription adverse effect. They might be able to change the dosage or recommend an alternative medication.

3. You Experience Anxiety or Stress


Your mental health could influence your emotional state at night. Yes, feelings of anxiety and stress can raise your heart rate. That’s because when you’re apprehensive or stressed out, your body enters a condition of flight or fight. It causes the release of adrenaline.

A helpful note: Make stress management a priority. Doctors suggest yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and deep breathing for reducing stress.

Additionally, think about speaking with a therapist if your stress and anxiety continue to impact your health negatively.

4. It Was The Dinner

The food you eat can occasionally cause heart palpitations, which may or may not surprise you.

American Diabetes Association explains that eating a lot of carbs can significantly raise blood sugar levels. It leads to the production of stress chemicals like cortisol and insulin, which can accelerate heart rate. In reality, chronically raised blood sugar levels are related to increased rates of atrial fibrillation [an abnormal, frequently extremely fast heartbeat] too.

Similarly, consuming meals high in salt, nitrates, or monosodium glutamate can cause palpitations by stressing the heart and raising blood pressure.

Additionally, consuming too much alcohol can harm your heart. Excessive alcohol use can deplete magnesium levels, which are linked to ventricular tachycardia(rapid heartbeat).

Note: American Diabetes Association provides the following tactics to prevent meals from raising your heart rate:

  • Consult your doctor so they can determine if you have food sensitivities if you experience heart palpitations after consuming particular foods. Until then, stay away from these foods.
  • Avoid late-night snacks and eat large meals high in fats, carbohydrates, or salt before bed.
  • Eat at home more often to keep an eye on your salt intake.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption and replace each alcoholic beverage with one glass of water.

5. Your Hormone Levels Can Be a Little Inconsistent

man in pain

Specific hormonal changes may impact your heart rate. For instance, there are some serious changes in your hormone levels after menopause. It can overstimulate the heart and lead to an increase in PVCs and PACs.

The oscillating high and low amounts of estrogen, he continues. They are what cause palpitations to be particularly prevalent during nighttime hot flashes. 

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also frequently manifest as a racing heart, but these symptoms are typically unharmful.

Note: Fortunately, a beating heart caused by pregnancy is just transient and should go away after giving birth.

Talk to your doctor about hormone withdrawal treatment, such as topical creams. Do so if your racing heartbeat and other menopausal symptoms impair your quality of life.

6. Your Body Needs More Water

Didn’t you drink enough water today? Your heart may be racing at night due to not drinking enough water throughout the day.

Moreover, lack of hydration causes the heartbeat to accelerate up. That’s partly because, according to Cleveland Clinic, dehydration can mess with your electrolytes. They are minerals in your body that control your heartbeat.

For instance, dehydration is linked to low potassium levels. It might result in elevated PVCs and PACs.

Note: Drink water frequently throughout the day to stay hydrated and healthy. When you urinate, try to observe a light straw-colored yellow.

7. You Are Feverish

A fever’s side effects could also include rapid heartbeat. According to ADA, having a fever can cause your heart rate to accelerate and your blood pressure to drop. Both can lead to palpitations like an increase in PACs and PVCs.

They mention that some infections, such as viral infections, can also cause the heart rhythm to slow down not. It’s especially in a normal way which can lead to palpitations, vertigo, and a pounding in the chest.

8. You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Palpitations are one sign of sleep deprivation, which can harm your health in many other ways as well.

Because your body is not working as hard while sleeping, your heart may slow down. At night, you can reset it. Your adrenaline levels may increase during the day if you don’t receive that recuperation phase. A quicker heartbeat can result from having too much adrenaline coursing through your body during the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you’re having trouble obtaining rejuvenating sleep, look at these methods.

Recognizing Dangerous Palpitations From Harmless Ones

heart problems

It’s critical to distinguish between palpitations brought on by stress or small arrhythmias and those that could indicate a cardiac condition. Unfortunately, palpitations don’t always occur in the doctor’s office.

Marine advises utilizing a Holter or event monitor to time an electro-diagram with the patient’s symptoms of an irregular heartbeat.

A Holter monitor is a portable device that you would wear around your neck or waist for 24 to 48 hours or in your pocket. Your chest is connected to the monitor cables by electrodes, which record your heartbeat.

An event monitor records heart rhythms over a longer period (about a month). When necessary, the patient turns on the monitor.

If it wakes you up

As an adult, your heart rate should change between 60 and 100 bpm. Still, this number depends on many factors.

For instance, age causes a reduction in resting heart rate. A significant study discovered that the average resting heart rate for individuals aged 18 to 45 is 110 bpm. For people who are aged over 60, 95 bpm is the normal sleeping heart rate.

The following table shows the normal heart rate in beats per minute. Keep in mind the rates are for children while awake. They will likely be slightly lower when they are sleeping.

Age Normal Heart Rate
Newborn 100-205 BPM
Infant (up to 1 year)100-180 BPM
Toddler (1-3 years)98-140 BPM
Preschool (3-5 years)80-120 BPM
Children (5-12 years)75-118 BPM
Teens (13-18 years)60-100 BPM
Adults (Above 18)60-100 BPM

How do you calm a racing heart immediately?

The reason for heart palpitations affects the course of treatment. Often, there is no need for treatment.

Avoiding things like stress, smoking, coffee, and alcohol, as well as other factors that can cause palpitations, can be helpful.

An electrocardiogram may be performed on you to identify the potential cause. Tiny pads will be applied to your skin to check the electrical signals originating from your heart during this examination.

You could require medication or a procedure to assist regulate your heartbeat if a heart condition is the root cause of your palpitations.

Best Sleeping Position

Sleep plays a significant role in our lives. But it’s more complicated than you may imagine. Your sleeping posture plays a big role in your sleeping quality. Therefore it might be time to change.

Different sleeping postures offer various advantages. You might need to change positions to help manage any health issues you’re dealing with. Changing your usual sleeping position can be the key to a healthy and happy heart.

It is proven that lying on your right side when you sleep helps keep your heart healthy. A 2003 study observed 75 congestive heart failure and 75 control people. Due to discomfort, which they did not experience when sleeping on their right side, the patients avoided sleeping on their left sides.

Why does the heart feel more at ease on the right side? Because your heart is on your left side, sleeping on the same side as your heart will push your heart against your chest. Your heart doesn’t have to work harder if you sleep on your right side.

How to Stop and Prevent Palpitations

Heart palpitations may be reduced with the aid of some at-home methods. One can test the following tactics.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Stress can negatively impact a person’s health in various ways. Palpitations may be brought on by it or made worse by it.

The following relaxing techniques may be useful for those who want to increase their oxygen levels:

  • Meditation
  • Taking small pauses from work
  • Yoga 
  • Deep breathing
  • Journaling
  • Manifestation

Reduce or Stop Using Stimulants

After consuming a stimulant, heart palpitations could become apparent.

Stimulants can be found in the following item:

  • Tobacco items
  • Few anti-cough medicines
  • Caffeine-containing drinks(coffee, tea, soda)
  • Certain drugs for mental health

Increase Vagus Nerve Activity

Stimulating the vagus nerve, which connects the brain and heart, helps reduce palpitations.

The following actions will activate the ambiguous nerve:

  • Chanting “Ohm” while taking a cold shower
  • Holding the breath and pressing down as if having a bowel movement
  • Laying ice or a cold, moist towel on your face 
  • Massaging your neck

Balance the Electrolytes

The body contains electrically charged molecules called electrolytes that serve various purposes. For instance, they have a big impact on heart rate control.

You can increase the number of electrolytes by eating foods that are high in:

  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Some folks might choose to take supplements to get these nutrients. Before considering any supplements, a person should speak to a doctor. It’s especially if they are simultaneously taking prescription medication.

Keep Your Body Hydrated

Heart palpitations can occur when your body lacks water because the heart must work harder to pump blood through the body.

According to CDC, different people should drink different amounts of water throughout the day. It depends on age, sex, and whether or not a person is pregnant.

Dehydration signs and symptoms may include:

  • The unusual smell of urine
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Dull skin

If someone experiences any of these signs, they should think about downing a whole glass of water.

Average healthy range of body water percentage is denoted in the table below. This is the total amount of water in your body expressed as a percentage of your total weight.

Average healthy range for women (%) Average Healthy range for Men (%)Average healthy range for babies (%)Average healthy range after 1 years of age

Try Not To Consume Too Much Alcohol

Since alcohol can be considered a depressant, the heart rate is not usually increased by it.

Even though consuming alcohol in moderation is generally not harmful, some evidence suggests that even one or two alcoholic drinks a day can raise the risk of atrial fibrillation. A sign of this illness is heart palpitations.

Work Out At Least Once A Week

Exercise can help the heart’s natural rhythm return and enhance overall cardiovascular health. Additionally, it may lessen anxiety and stress.

The heart is strengthened through cardiovascular exercise, which can stop or lessen palpitations.

Exercise that is good for you includes:

  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Biking

For some people, exercise might cause palpitations. It’s critical to recognize and stay away from any exercise that can be harmful.

Anyone who wants to start a new workout routine should speak with their doctor first.

Further Therapies

A doctor may suggest treatment if ventricular tachycardia spasms frequently induce palpitations. It’s defined as those that happen more than 10,000 times in 24 hours. They might suggest drugs like calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers.

A doctor might advise catheter ablation if regular palpitations are not controlled by medicines. This procedure is done by inserting a small tube into a blood vessel and then into the heart.

Moreover, you might be experiencing heart palpitations due to a physical anomaly, such as a weaker or larger-than-normal heart. It normally can not be understood unless you get medically examined.

When should you go to the hospital?

You should occasionally pay much attention if you experience heart palpitations. For instance, the NHLBI says that arrhythmias cause these impulses to go off-beat. They’re essentially electrical shorts in your heart.

Along with other symptoms, including weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting, and discomfort in your chest can make your heart beat strangely and make you feel weak.

Arrhythmias can occasionally be fatal, although they are frequently not harmful and can be managed in various ways. Any symptoms other than unusual heart sensations often indicate that it is time to see the doctor. Seek emergency medical assistance if you believe you are exhibiting any odd symptoms besides your heart palpitations. 

Waking up with a tight chest and a heart that’s beating fast every morning is no fun! We hope this article helps you.

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