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Waking Up With Forceful Heartbeats


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Every one in a while, I would wake up from a deep sleep with a pounding heart and forceful heartbeats. Today I immediately checked my heart rate when I woke up and it showed 48 bps. I presume it was below that before the forceful heartbeats, as I assume it was caused by brachycardia and my heart kicking into gear in an attempt to elevate my heart rate. Has this happened to anyone else? Since recently starting Cymbalta and klonopin full time, my heart rate has been unusually low at night (50-60) when I go to bed. It's lower when sitting and standing too in the late evening than it is the rest of the day. I don't get why my symptoms would be different consistently at night as opposed to any other time of the day.

James

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Actually, before I read the "48 bpm" thing, I was thinking: That's brady. Yeah, it happens to me also. Brady, for me at least, comes on stronger when laying down. So when I wake up with it, it's hard to get up but important to try to sit. Maybe you need to sleep with your head elevated?

The "pounding" is what brady usually feels like for me when it gets really low. Below 40, I'll be unconscious for several hours. THe pounding is horrible, and starts around 60, 55. Very tiring.

Hope you get some help with that. Did you talk to your cardio about brady? Mine lowered my Midodrine dose in order to kick the brady, and it worked.

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Actually, before I read the "48 bpm" thing, I was thinking: That's brady. Yeah, it happens to me also. Brady, for me at least, comes on stronger when laying down. So when I wake up with it, it's hard to get up but important to try to sit. Maybe you need to sleep with your head elevated?

The "pounding" is what brady usually feels like for me when it gets really low. Below 40, I'll be unconscious for several hours. THe pounding is horrible, and starts around 60, 55. Very tiring.

Hope you get some help with that. Did you talk to your cardio about brady? Mine lowered my Midodrine dose in order to kick the brady, and it worked.

From my experience, my brady episodes are indeed more severe while lying down, but I've only gotten the pounding heart beats like that while asleep. I don't get the pounding heart over 50 bpm, but I do feel a little wierd with slight breathing changes under 60bpm. 48 is the lowest I've seen and I began to where my heart rate watch while sleeping so I can monitor it if I feel wierd or have episodes like that. I've noticed it happening when I sleep on my stomach. I'll have the episode, wake up, and turn over onto my back, and shortly after the episode will end. I usually have had only 1 episode during problematic nights, but there was one night a while back where I had 2 occurrences. I have tried using 2 pillows in an attempt to elevate my head, but I'm afraid if my head is elevated, it won't receive enough blood to it. Also I found it doesn't make that much of a difference in my heart rate. Any time I roll over, my hr increases 10-15bpm and then settles back then. Does the same thing when sitting and I switch positions.

Right now I'm tapering my klonopin to see if that will help my brady. Thanks for your suggestions.

James

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Hi,

Glad you found some answers. Watch tapering or changing up meds like that without consulting with your dr. Make sure to discuss it with them first.

As far as the two pillows thing, or less a dr. etc. has told you that could be a problem, I would think it wouldn't harm, and could even possibly benefit, because of respiration. I am not sure, and everyone is different. I sleep with my head on like 3-4 pillows and back and legs supported as well. I can't sleep without a lot of pillows propping me up.

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Also, you could try some non-medical remedies in the moment to bring your hr up. Sometimes it's a pain to do this sort of thing in the middle of the night, but I find it helps me sleep better afterward. I find taking a hot shower, drinking hot water, putting on a sweatshirt and eating something with salt all help. When I get bradycardia in the afternoon I have a small cup of coffee or 2 oz of red wine.

Also, although a person it technically bradycardic under 50 or 60 bpm (I forget which), people feel symptoms at different points. For example, I don't feel anything unless I get below 45 or 40, but some people start feeling unwell at 58 or 59. Your hr naturally slows down considerably at night (circadian rhythms) so it's not unusual for brady sypmtoms to be worse at night. For example, it's fairly common for ppl's hr to get in the 30's while they sleep. It's only worth paying attention to if you have bad side-effects (which it sounds like you do) but not normally something to worry about if you have no side effects.

I hope you find things that help! It's no fun being woken up in the middle of the night....

jump

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