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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 58707
Experience:  Cardiology Expert
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I have been experiencing a strange thing over the last 2 years

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I have been experiencing a strange thing over the last 2 years every couple of weeks. I wake up always within 1 hour of falling asleep and feel as if I'm dying then my heart starts racing and pounding. I sit up and it lasts for about a minute then it slows. it is frightening at the time and very puzzling. Only happens in sleep and always within 1 hour.
Have you heard if this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I is not sleep apnoea and it is not anxiety. I am awoken with a feeling as if my heart is not beating properly and I feel as if I'm dying then it goes into a fast forceful heartbeat. I don't gasp for air I am calm when I wake up, just feeling weird.
My feeling is that something happens within my body within half hour of falling asleep and my heart is reacting to it.
Have you had a holter monitor?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I've had one for 24 hours but nothing happened during that time.
Did they consider a longer monitored period of time? Anxiety a possibility?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No but perhaps that is the only way to capture it. I don't think it's anxiety as its specific to a particular time. I don't get it during the day and always after having been asleep about half an hour! I have a sensitive heart and sometimes get flutters and occasional svt but ecg's have always come back ok. It's very puzzling.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does the body cheat rate, bp etc change after being asleep for a short time? Perhaps it's something to do with this?
This is actually a pretty common complaint. I have heard it many timesIt is generally benignA longer holter is the only way to prove it
Dr. Phil, MD and other Cardiology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will ask to have a longer monitor period. Does it have a name? Do you know what causes it?
event monitorIt is generally a string of PVCs that triggers the waking response
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What's a PVC?
it is a benign extra beat
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So is it possible I'm getting a run if PVC and then I wake up and then the heart is overcompensating by beating strongly
yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
is this dangerous? I'm due to go away on holiday and worried it happens when I'm away
It is not dangerous in 99.9% of cases
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I will get a longer holter monitor organised just to confirm that this is what is happening.
sounds good
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just remembered to ask something else. Will PVC's be more likely during night when I'm on my side? I try to stay on my back as had a few on my side but not sure if coincidence.
Yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes to coincidence or yes to worse on my side?
yes it is generally worse on your side