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Rapid Heartbeat while Lying Down: Symptoms and Causes

Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD · General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Jun 10, 2021

    Rapid Heartbeat while Lying Down: Symptoms and Causes

    Have you ever experienced a more rapid heartbeat while lying down?

    Heart palpitations are quite common, and every person might experience it every once in a while. Although these sensations may come and go, it can be worrying to feel your heart racing when at rest, particularly when lying down at nighttime. Let’s find out why this happens and learn on how to stop heart palpitations at night.

    What is a heart palpitation?

    Normally, you won’t notice that your heart is beating. However, there are some instances where your heartbeat suddenly becomes noticeable. This occurrence is known as heart palpitations.

    Heart palpitation is the feeling or sensation that your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat. Though some people may not mind, others might feel uneasy when it happens to them.

    Heart palpitations can be felt through the chest, throat, and neck. Most often, palpitations are not a cause for concern.

    However, recurring heart palpitations that last for more than a few seconds might be a sign of something more serious, thus needing immediate medical attention.

    Symptoms of heart palpitation

    You’re having a heart palpitation if:

  • You feel your heart rate is rising.
  • You’re feeling a thumping sensation on your chest and even on your chest and throat.
  • Your heart is skipping a beat.
  • What causes heart palpitations?

    Palpitations can happen to anyone at any time, and it may take place while you’re active or at rest.

    Here are the following factors that trigger heart palpitations:

    • Stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, certain medications that contain decongestants, as well as illicit drugs like amphetamines and cocaine
    • Certain medical conditions like an overactive thyroid, low levels of blood sugar and blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, dehydration, and cardiovascular problems
    • Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
    • Emotional tension, such as stress, anxiety, or panic attacks
    • Taxing physical activities
    • Fatigue or lack of sleep
    • Heavy alcohol consumption
    • Fever

    Heart palpitation is also linked to heart arrhythmia or irregular heart rhythm, which can result in serious and life-threatening complications.

    Why do I experience rapid heartbeat while lying down?

    Heart palpitations can happen any time of day, but it is more likely to occur during nighttime or when lying down.

    Rapid heartbeat during the night would probably become worse when you sleep on your left side.

    Bending your body while lying on your left side puts more pressure on the organs in this area, which is basically the heart and chest wall, causing the sensation to reverberate.

    Unknown palpitations throughout the day can also be a factor that contributes to rapid heartbeats while lying down.

    Heart palpitations can become more noticeable when you’re about to sleep, since you are in a quiet and more relaxed environment.

    Consuming caffeine or smoking before going to bed can also set off heart palpitations right before you sleep.

    When to see a doctor

    Healthy individuals don’t need to worry about occasional palpitations.

    However, it is important to take note of the frequency and longevity of each palpitation.

    Immediately call for emergency assistance if palpitations are accompanied by the following:

    These symptoms may also pose as early warning signs of an upcoming heart attack or any serious cardiovascular problems.

    Thus, urgent medical attention is needed.

    Also, heart palpitations act as a sign of serious types of heart arrhythmia, such as:

    • Ventricular tachycardia. A fast heart rhythm (more than 100 beats per minute) that begins in the lower part of the heart (ventricles).
    • Atrial fibrillation (AFib). A type of arrhythmia that may result in a rapid and erratic heartbeat that can range from 100 to 175 beats per minute.
    • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). An abnormally fast heart rate that ranges from 100 to 300 beats per minute.

    How can I stop heart palpitations at night?

    There are no particular treatments that can address heart palpitations. The only time doctors will present treatments is when heart palpitations are linked to any serious health problems like cardiovascular diseases.

    To lessen the occurrences of heart palpitations, it helps to avoid possible triggers.

    Here’s what you can do:

    • De-stress. Do activities that can ease your anxiety and stress like meditations, yoga, tai chi, and aromatherapy.
    • Refrain from smoking cigarettes or consuming stimulants. As much as possible, avoid foods, beverages, or medications that can abnormally increase your heartbeat, such as caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, decongestants, and illegal drugs.

    Consult your doctor for medications if these lifestyle changes still do not help relieve your palpitations.

    Key takeaways

    Although heart palpitations is an occasional sensation that can be felt by practically anyone, it can still cause worry and discomfort to some.

    Remember that a noticeable change in your heart rate might be an indication of an underlying health issue.

    That is why, if you have been experiencing rapid heartbeat while lying down or you have been having long episodes of heart palpitations frequently, it is advisable to reach out to your doctor right away.

    Learn more about Heart Arrhythmia, here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

    General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

    Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao · Updated Jun 10, 2021

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