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What Causes a Fast Resting Heart Rate

But health experts say that a number of things can cause a spike in your resting heart rate, including caffeine, anxiety and underlying health conditions.

Sportswoman checking pulse on smartwatch

A number of things can cause a spike in your resting heart rate.

Image Credit: martin-dm/E /GettyImages

It would probably be a shock to glance at your fitness tracker while chilling on the couch and notice your heart reaching 106 beats a minute. But health experts say that a number of things can cause a spike in your resting heart rate, including caffeine, anxiety and underlying health conditions.

What Makes a Heart Rate Soar

Typically, a normal resting heart rate falls between 60 and 100 beats a minute, according to the Mayo Clinic. An abnormally fast resting heart rate — called tachycardia — happens when the upper or lower chambers of the heart beat more than 100 times a minute, explains Shoshana Ungerleider, MD, an internist who practices hospital medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

"It is normal for your heart rate to rise during exercise or as a physiological response to stress, trauma or illness," says Dr. Ungerleider. "This is called sinus tachycardia." Not all types of tachycardia are benign, however. According to the Mayo Clinic, other types that come with health consequences include:

  • Atrial fibrillation —​ a fast heart rate caused by disordered, irregular electrical impulses in the heart's upper chambers, known as the atria.
  • Atrial flutter —​ when the atria of the heart beat rapidly but at a steady rate, resulting in weak atrial contractions.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia —​ an abnormally rapid heartbeat originating somewhere above the heart's ventricles, which are the lower chambers.
  • Ventricular tachycardia —​ a fast heart rate originating with abnormal electrical signals in the ventricles.
  • Ventricular fibrillation —​ when fast, disordered electrical impulses cause the ventricles to quiver inefficiently instead of pumping blood that the body needs.

Dr. Ungerleider cites several factors that may increase your chances of developing tachycardia, including "anxiety or stress, anemia, hyperthyroidism, structural heart disease, an electrolyte imbalance, medication side effects, ingesting large amounts of caffeine, heavy alcohol consumption, fever, smoking or drug use (such as cocaine)."

Treating a Fast Resting Heart Rate

How tachycardia is treated depends on what's causing it, Dr. Ungerleider says. "If you have a medical condition that causes an abnormally fast heart rate, there are various medications that a doctor may prescribe to lower the rate, including beta blockers, calcium channel blockers or digoxin," she says.

"Also, if you have an underlying medical condition (such as anemia, hyperthyroidism or heart disease) that causes elevated heart rate, treating the underlying medical problem can lower your heart rate," she adds.

If stress and anxiety are causing your heart to race, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, that could signal an anxiety disorder and may be worth seeking professional help — especially if your anxiety worsens over time and interferes with daily activities like relationships, school and work. Treatment may include medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you change patterns of thoughts, behaviors and reactions to your fears, the NIMH explains.

If your rapid resting heart rate is exacerbated by your beverage choices, cutting back might be your best bet. For instance, drinking too much alcohol can be a culprit when it comes to a fast resting heart rate, according to a 2017 review article published in ​Alcohol Research​. And according to the current ​Dietary Guidelines for Americans​, if you consume alcohol, you should do so in moderation — defined as no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink daily for women.

Likewise, if you experience a rapid heart rate from caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks, you're likely consuming too much caffeine and could benefit from slowly reducing your intake, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The ​Dietary Guidelines​ recommend limiting caffeine intake to 400 milligrams daily, equivalent to three to five eight-ounce cups of coffee, and less than 300 milligrams (two to three cups of coffee) if you're pregnant.

The burning question remains: What symptoms are worrisome enough that you should you see your doctor?

"If you notice that you have an elevated heart rate while at rest consistently above 100 beats per minute — but you aren't sick, exercising or stressed — it is important to let your doctor know," Dr. Ungerleider warns. "If you are experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting, fluttering in your chest or chest pain, this could be related to a problem with your heart."

Why is my heart beating fast for no reason?

19-01-2021 · Heart beating fast for no reason: Causes and treatments Response to strong emotions. Stressful emotions, such as anxiety, anger, and fear, can cause a person’s heart rate to... Response to certain drugs. Caffeine is a stimulant found in many drinks, such as …


Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.D., MPHWritten by Anna Smith on January 18, 2021

A fast heartbeat means that a person’s heart beats at a higher rate than usual. There are numerous possible causes, including drug reactions, alcohol, and certain health conditions.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the average adult has a resting heartbeat of about 60⁠–⁠100 beats per minute. A heart rate higher than 100 beats per minute is known as tachycardia.

Most causes of a rapid heartbeat are not dangerous. However, a faster than usual heartbeat can be a symptom of an underlying health problem.

This article looks at what can cause a person’s heart to beat faster, treatments, and when to see a doctor.

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Stressful emotions, such as anxiety, anger, and fear, can cause a person’s heart rate to increase.

When the body experiences stress, the adrenal glands release epinephrine, or adrenaline. The body has two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney.

The body uses epinephrine to prepare a person for immediate action. Epinephrine can cause a person to experience:

  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • enlarged pupils
  • palpitations, where the heart rate can increase, decrease, or feel like it has skipped a beat
  • sweating
  • anxiety

Generally, a person should find that their symptoms decrease once they no longer feel stress.

Learn more about anxiety here.


A person who experiences stressful emotions regularly may be at risk of developing certain conditions. The American Psychological Association (APA) note that chronic stress can increase a person’s chances of developing certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.

A person may be able to manage their stress in the following ways:

  • exercising regularly
  • engaging in relaxing activities, such as meditation or massage
  • setting goals and priorities
  • speaking to friends and family for emotional support or help
  • talking with a doctor or healthcare provider

Learn more about treating and managing stress here.

Substances that can cause a person’s heartbeat to speed up include:


Caffeine is a stimulant found in many drinks, such as coffee, tea, certain sodas, and energy drinks. Caffeine powder is also available as a dietary supplement.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) suggest that an adult could have up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day, which is around 4 or 5 cups of coffee. However, the amount of caffeine a person can consume without adverse effects depends on their caffeine sensitivity.

A person who has too much caffeine may experience:

Learn more about caffeine here.


A study from 2014 found that even a small amount of alcohol can increase a person’s chances of developing atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a condition that causes a person’s heart to beat irregularly and sometimes abnormally fast.

A further study from 2017 tested people’s breath for alcohol concentration levels. Researchers found that as a person’s alcohol concentration level increased, so did their heart rate.

Learn how alcohol affects the body here.


Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in cigarettes. According to the AHA, nicotine can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Research from 2016 noted that nicotine could increase a person’s heart rate by 10⁠–⁠15 beats per minute (BPM). Researchers also pointed out that a person’s heart rate and blood pressure increased regardless of whether the nicotine was smoked, inhaled, or ingested.

Learn more about nicotine here.

Illegal stimulants

Illegal stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can cause a person to have a higher heart rate.

Research from 2014 found that people who use cocaine were more likely to experience irregular or increased heart rates.

Doctors sometimes use amphetamines to treat people who have ADHD or narcolepsy. However, amphetamines can cause a series of side effects, including:

Learn more about amphetamines here.

Certain medications

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), certain medications can cause a person to have an irregular heartbeat. These medications include:

Find out more about the causes of heart palpitations here.

Certain supplements

Certain herbal supplements can increase a person’s heart rate, such as:

Bitter orange: People might use bitter orange for heartburn, nasal congestion, weight loss, appetite suppression or stimulation, and athletic performance. Certain studies state that it can cause rapid heartbeat; however, the results were inconclusive.

Valerian: Valerian is a supplement used for anxiety, insomnia, depression, premenstrual syndrome, headache, and menstrual issues. Side effects of taking valerian can include heart disturbances, such as a rapid heartbeat, headache, upset stomach, uneasiness, excitability, mental dullness, and insomnia.

Ginseng: Ginseng is promoted as a general tonic to improve wellbeing. However, ginseng has side effects that can include increased heartbeat, insomnia, menstrual problems, breast pain, headache, digestive problems, and high or low blood pressure.

Learn which supplements can lower blood pressure here.


A person who experiences an increased heart rate due to caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, or illegal stimulants should try reducing the amount they consume.

If a person is dependent on a particular drug, they should consider speaking to a healthcare worker or counselor to discuss treatment options.

If a person has a rapid heart rate after taking certain medications or supplements, they can speak to their doctor to see if there is an alternative medication they can take.

Learn more about drug abuse here.

An increase in heart rate may occur during pregnancy. This can happen because the heart has to pump blood to the placenta and around the body.

A study from 2019 found that, on average, a pregnant person’s heart rate increased by 7–⁠8 beats per minute (bpm). The same study also found that the average heart rate increased throughout pregnancy. A person’s average heart rate at 10 weeks was 79.3 bpm, which increased to 86.9 bpm by 40 weeks.

Additionally, once a person goes through menopause, they have an increased risk of coronary heart disease. The British Heart Foundation notes that a person in the postmenopausal phase of their life may feel that their heart is racing.

Learn more about hormonal imbalance here.


A person who is pregnant or postmenopausal should speak with their doctor if they are concerned about their increased heart rate.

Learn about HRT here.

Electrolytes are minerals and salts in a person’s blood. Electrolytes help conduct electrical impulses around a person’s body.

A person who has an imbalance of electrolytes may notice they have an increased heart rate. An older study from 2013 found that the most common symptoms a person with an electrolyte imbalance experienced were:

  • shortness of breath
  • fever
  • rapid heartbeat
  • confusion
  • bloating
  • irregular heartbeat

Learn how to manage an electrolyte imbalance here.


To diagnose an electrolyte imbalance, a doctor can perform an electrolyte test. An electrolyte test checks the levels of electrolytes in a person’s blood. The doctor can then recommend treatment based on what electrolyte levels are abnormal.

Learn which foods contain the most electrolytes here.

A fast heart rate is not usually a cause for concern. However, an increase in heart rate may indicate that a person has an underlying health problem. Health problems that can cause rapid heart rate include:

A person should speak to a doctor if:

  • they have a history of heart problems
  • the increased heart rate goes on for a long time or gets worse
  • their increased heart rate is causing them concern

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience:

  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • blackouts
  • tightness in their chest
  • chest pain

A person can experience an increased heart rate for many reasons. Certain conditions can cause a person to have a rapid heartbeat, but they are not usually serious.

If a person is concerned about their fast heart rate, they should speak to a doctor. A person should seek immediate medical help if they experience any troubling symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on January 18, 2021

  • Hypertension
  • Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs
  • Cardiovascular / Cardiology
What Causes of Heart Palpitations at Night and How to Stop it?

02-12-2017 · Heart palpitations don’t always indicate a major issue with your heart, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sometimes causes of a rapid heartbeat during sleep could be the result of a specific type of diagnosable arrhythmia, like: 1. Supraventricular Arrhythmia. This condition causes your heart to beat very quickly and erratically. It originates above the ventricles—the lower chambers of the …


Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Heart Palpitations at Night
Credit: iStock.com/Suze777

Have you ever been shocked out of your dreams by a pounding heart? Heart palpitations at night can be a pretty scary experience, leaving you with a heightened or abnormal awareness of your heart’s rhythm. There’s nothing dreamy about a rapid heartbeat at night.

Thankfully, heart palpitations aren’t always a direct result of a major cardiac condition.

Just because your heart may momentarily speed up, skip a beat, or flutter, doesn’t mean that you’ve just suffered a heart attack or that one is imminent.

But that doesn’t make heart palpitations at night, when lying down, any less concerning. You still may have a lot of questions about what’s happening and why.

Some 16% of heart palpitations have no recognizable cause.

They could easily be a result of a stressful situation you’re dealing with or the fact that you had an alcoholic beverage not long before bed. Heart palpitations can also be caused by medications or supplements you’re taking.

Only sometimes will a heart palpitation indicate a regular problem with arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) that needs treatment. In fact, most people with regular arrhythmias caused by conditions like tachycardia, arterial fibrillation and more, report palpitations at a relatively low rate.

Heart palpitations don’t always indicate a major issue with your heart, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sometimes causes of a rapid heartbeat during sleep could be the result of a specific type of diagnosable arrhythmia, like:

1. Supraventricular Arrhythmia

This condition causes your heart to beat very quickly and erratically. It originates above the ventricles—the lower chambers of the heart—and can induce symptoms like a racing pulse and dizziness.

2. Atrial Fibrillation

The most common type of arrhythmia, it can cause a rapid and erratic heartbeat that has the potential to interfere with blood flow to the ventricles. It can lead to a stroke, and may show no symptoms.

In some cases, symptoms like chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath can appear.

3. Ventricular Tachycardia

This type is a rapid heartbeat that originates in the ventricles. In cases associated with structural heart disease, it may cause a loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest, or sudden death.

If you have existing heart troubles or have never experienced heart palpitations before, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause.

Other heart conditions that are tied to palpitations include:

  • Previous heart attack(s)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Heart muscle problems

It’s important to remember that most of the heart palpitations people experience are not related to existing heart conditions.

Palpitations will usually go away on their own and are frequently harmless. There are a number of potential contributing factors, and being aware of them may show you how to stop palpitations at night.

These potential causes of a rapid heartbeat during sleep may include:

  • Overexertion (big workout during the day, sex before falling asleep, etc.)
  • General stress
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Diet pills
  • Alcohol
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Hormonal changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Body’s response to various medications like cold medicines, asthma drugs, or thyroid pills
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Dehydration (electrolyte imbalances can influence heart rhythm)

It’s also possible to experience heart palpitations after eating a big meal heavy in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. To limit the risk, eat slowly, reduce portion size, and limit intake of processed and fried foods.

Almost all of the above factors contributing to heart palpitations are controllable. Try experimenting with any factors that apply to you and note any changes or improvements.

Symptoms of Heart Palpitations at Night

Heart palpitations at night—particularly if they disrupt sleep—can be slightly more alarming. There is an added a shock factor if you’ve just been jolted awake.

The symptoms of heart palpitations when lying down, however, are about the same as they are whether you’re standing up or sitting down. They include:

  • Skipping beats
  • Fluttering
  • Beating too fast
  • Pumping harder than normal

How to Stop Palpitations at Night

The first piece of advice for dealing with a heart palpitation is to call your doctor if you’ve never experienced one before. The next is to pay attention to any other symptoms.

If there are none, take a deep breath, relax, and see if your heart beat returns to normal.

If your doctor has taken a look at you and ruled out possible heart complications, here are some things you can try:

  • Cut back on caffeine or give it up outright. Try to stick to three cups of coffee per day, none of them after about 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Lower alcohol intake, especially in the evening. If you can completely give it up, try that.
  • Try to eat something every three to four hours to prevent blood sugar from getting too low. Healthy snacks like veggies, nuts, fruit and lean proteins are recommended.
  • Stay adequately hydrated by sipping water throughout the day.
  • Get enough good quality sleep.
  • Have your doctor or pharmacist check your medications or supplements to make sure ingredients don’t increase the risk for palpitations. Some common decongestant products contain palpitation-encouraging ingredients like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
  • Find ways to limit stress. Helpful methods include better nutrition, exercise, meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga or tai chi.

If you find yourself experiencing palpitations and want to try and stop them, a few things you can try are:

  • Splashing cold water on your face
  • Deep, abdominal breathing
  • Going for a walk
  • Valsalva maneuver: Plug your nose with the fingers on one hand, and then close your mouth and try to push forcibly exhale through the nose.

When to See a Doctor

Once again, if you’re experiencing palpitations for the first time, it’s good to have a doctor check you out. If you’re experiencing these symptoms alongside the palpitations, call 911:

It’s also advised to call your doctor immediately if:

  • You’re feeling more than six extra heartbeats per minute and coming in groups of three or more.
  • You have risk factors for heart disease like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes
  • Pulse is higher than 100 BPM without stimulus like exertion, fever, or anxiety
  • The palpitations feel different than usual

If you don’t suffer from preexisting heart conditions, the heart palpitations that electrified you awake at night are unlikely to be a major sign of distress. But if they’ve been recurring frequently as of late, try making a few lifestyle adjustments.

Adding in a little more exercise, consuming more fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol and caffeine, while finding ways to soften life’s stressors may be all you need to get a good night’s sleep and avoid heart palpitations.

Also Read:

Article Sources ( )

Marine, J., “When to Evaluate Heart Palpitations,” John Hopkins Medicine, 2017; https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/womens_cardiovascular_health_center/patient_information/health_topics/when_to_evaluate_heart_palpitations.html, last accessed November 23, 2017.
“Heart Palpitations,” National Institutes of Health, June 11, 2014; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0063037/, last accessed November 23, 2017.
“Heat palpitations,” Medline Plus, May 17, 2016; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003081.htm, last accessed November 23, 2017.
“Skipping a beat — the surprise of heart palpitations,” Harvard Medical School, January 27 2016; https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/skipping-a-beat–the-surprise-of-palpitations, last accessed November 23, 2017.
Increase in resting heart rate is a signal worth watching ...

21-12-2011 · Your resting heart rate, though, tends to be stable from day to day. The usual range for resting heart rate is anywhere between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered high. Many factors influence your resting heart rate. Genes play a role. Aging tends to speed it up. Regular exercise tends to slow your heart rate down. (In his prime ...


When you sit quietly, your heart slips into the slower, steady pace known as your resting heart rate. An increase in your resting heart rate over time may be a signal of heart trouble ahead.

Your heart rate changes from minute to minute. It depends on whether you are standing up or lying down, moving around or sitting still, stressed or relaxed. Your resting heart rate, though, tends to be stable from day to day. The usual range for resting heart rate is anywhere between 60 and 90 beats per minute. Above 90 is considered high.

Many factors influence your resting heart rate. Genes play a role. Aging tends to speed it up. Regular exercise tends to slow your heart rate down. (In his prime, champion cyclist Miguel Indurain had a resting heart rate of just 28 beats per minute.) Stress, medications, and medical conditions also influence your resting heart rate.

Results of observational research studies support a link between health and heart rate. Researchers from Norway previously reported the results of a large study looking at changes in resting heart rate over 10 years. They recruited more than 29,000 people without any history or heart disease, high blood pressure, or any other type of cardiovascular disorder, and measured their resting heart rates when they started the study and again 10 years later. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Compared to people whose resting heart rates were under 70 beats per minute at the study’s start and its end, those whose resting heart rate rose from under 70 to more than 85 were 90% more likely to have died during the course of the study. The increase in risk was slightly less for those with resting heart rates of 70 to 85 at the study’s start and who had a greater than 85 at the study’s end.

Although 90% sounds like a huge and scary increase, let me put it in perspective. Among the group whose heart rates stayed under 70 throughout the study, there were 8.2 deaths per 10,000 people per year. Among those whose heart rates rose above 85, there were 17.2 deaths per 10,000 people per year.

The results also suggested that lowering your resting heart rate over time may be beneficial, but the researchers could not say that for certain.

How to lower your resting heart rate

You don’t need a doctor’s visit to keep track of your resting heart rate. The best time to measure it is before you get out of bed in the morning. You can measure your heart rate at your wrist or neck by placing one or two fingers over a pulse point, counting the number of beats in 15 seconds, and multiplying by four.

By doing these 4 things you can start to lower your resting heart rate and also help maintain a healthy heart:

  1. Exercise more. When you take a brisk walk, swim, or bicycle, your heart beats faster during the activity and for a short time afterward. But exercising every day gradually slows the resting heart rate.
  2. Reduce stress. Performing the relaxation response, meditation, tai chi, and other stress-busting techniques lowers the resting heart rate over time.
  3. Avoid tobacco products. Smokers have higher resting heart rates. Quitting brings it back down.
  4. Lose weight if necessary. The larger the body, the more the heart must work to supply it with blood. Losing weight can help slow an elevated resting heart rate.

Heart palpitations - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

This content does not have an English version.This content does not have an Arabic version. Heart palpitations (pal-pih-TAY-shuns) are feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart.…

This content does not have an English version.

This content does not have an Arabic version.

Heart palpitations (pal-pih-TAY-shuns) are feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart. Stress, exercise, medication or, rarely, a medical condition can trigger them.

Although heart palpitations can be worrisome, they're usually harmless. In rare cases, they can be a symptom of a more serious heart condition, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), that might require treatment.


Heart palpitations can feel like your heart is:

  • Skipping beats
  • Fluttering rapidly
  • Beating too fast
  • Pounding
  • Flip-flopping

You might feel heart palpitations in your throat or neck as well as your chest. They can occur when you're active or at rest.

When to see a doctor

Palpitations that are infrequent and last only a few seconds usually don't need to be evaluated. If you have a history of heart disease and have palpitations that occur frequently or worsen, talk to your doctor. He or she might suggest heart-monitoring tests to see if your palpitations are caused by a more serious heart problem.

Seek emergency medical attention if heart palpitations are accompanied by:

  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Fainting
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic


Often the cause of your heart palpitations can't be found. Common causes include:

  • Strong emotional responses, such as stress, anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, and cold and cough medications that contain pseudoephedrine
  • Fever
  • Hormone changes associated with menstruation, pregnancy or menopause
  • Too much or to little thyroid hormone

Occasionally heart palpitations can be a sign of a serious problem, such as an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).

Heart rhythm changes (arrhythmias) might cause a very fast heart rate (tachycardia), an unusually slow heart rate (bradycardia), a normal heart rate that varies from the usual heart rhythm or combination of the three.

Risk factors

You might be at risk of developing palpitations if you:

  • Are highly stressed
  • Have an anxiety disorder or have regular panic attacks
  • Are pregnant
  • Take medicines that contain stimulants, such as some cold or asthma medications
  • Have an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)
  • Have other heart problems, such as an arrhythmia, a heart defect, previous heart attack or previous heart surgery


Unless a heart condition is causing your heart palpitations, there's little risk of complications. For palpitations caused by a heart condition, possible complications include:

  • Fainting. If your heart beats rapidly, your blood pressure can drop, causing you to faint. This might be more likely if you have a heart problem, such as congenital heart disease or certain valve problems.
  • Cardiac arrest. Rarely, palpitations can be caused by life-threatening arrhythmias and can cause your heart to stop beating effectively.
  • Stroke. If palpitations are due to a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beating properly (atrial fibrillation), blood can pool and cause clots to form. If a clot breaks loose, it can block a brain artery, causing a stroke.
  • Heart failure. This can result if your heart is pumping ineffectively for a prolonged period due to an arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation. Sometimes, controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that's causing heart failure can improve your heart's function.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic
  1. Zimetbaum PJ. Overview of palpitations in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 15, 2020.
  2. Heart palpitations. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hpl#. Accessed March 15, 2020.
  3. Lopez-Jimenez F. (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. March 30, 2020.
Fast Heart Rate - Symptoms, Causes and Treatments • MyHeart

28-07-2017 · The heart rate may be fast simply as a reaction to other processes going on in the body. For example, if the body is under stress from pain, infection, blood loss or general illness then the heart rate may increase significantly, often to provide blood to vital organs.


A fast heart rate is known as tachycardia and commonly defined as a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute. Although a fast heart rate is commonly defined as a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute, there is no specific cut off for what defines a significantly fast heart rate or a number above which a fast heart rate becomes an issue. Each case is different and needs to be approached differently. Articles on normal heart rate and low heart rate are linked here.

What Causes A Fast Heart Rate? 

The heart rate can be fast for reasons inside the heart or reasons outside the heart.

The electrical system of the heart itself can cause a fast heart rate if there are ‘short circuits’ that occur within it. These are known as tachyarrhythmias. These can occur from the top chamber or the bottom chamber of the heart. Fast heart rates from the top chamber of the heart are known as supraventricular tachycardia or SVT for short. They can be regular or irregular. One of the most common causes for a fast heart rate, especially if irregular in nature is known as atrial fibrillation or AF for short. Fast heart rates that occur from the bottom chamber of the heart are known as ventricular tachycardia or VT for short. These are generally regular in nature. Ventricular Tachycardia is considered more concerning in general than other causes of fast heart rate and needs prompt work up and attention.

The heart rate may be fast simply as a reaction to other processes going on in the body. For example, if the body is under stress from pain, infection, blood loss or general illness then the heart rate may increase significantly, often to provide blood to vital organs. When someone has pain, there is an increase in secretion of stress hormones that directly increases heart rate through acting on receptors in the heart. There may be problems with hormones such as overproduction of thyroid hormone that may lead to increase in heart rate. When the body is in shock, be it for reasons from inside or outside the heart, the heart rate will increase significantly. For example if the heart function is severely impaired and the amount of blood being pumped out per beat is therefore reduced, the heart attempts to compensate by increasing the rate. Finally its important to note that ingestion of substances such as stimulants that would directly increase heart rate need to be ruled out as a cause of fast heart rate.

Other articles on MyHeart.net that go in to more detail include heart flutter, sinus tachycardia, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, Afib with RVR and atrial fibrillation.

Symptoms of a Fast Heart Rate

Many people don’t have symptoms when they find out they have a fast heart rate. They often just notice it when checking their pulse rate, or from a blood pressure machine or a Fitbit type accessory. Some patients may feel tired, short of breath, dizzy or fatigued. If the heart rate is particularly fast people may notice a thumping sensation or palpitations. If the heart rate is particularly fast, there may be a sensation of light-headedness or feeling of faintness. In the case of SVT that comes and goes at unpredictable times, there may be intermittent palpitations and light-headedness. When the palpitations come on, some patients may have associated chest pain that on occasion can point to underlying heart artery disease. If the palpitations are more serious, people may pass out as a result.

Consequences of a Fast Heart Rate

Often a fast heart rate will have no significant effect on the heart, although there may be associated symptoms. In some cases however the symptoms may be enough as to cause concern and quality of life limiting symptoms. In a few cases, the heart rate may be continually elevated over a long period of time weeks-months often at heart rates above 120-130 beats per minutes and lead to a weakening of the heart muscle known as tachycardia mediated cardiomyopathy. Regardless, it is important to work up and identify any underlying causes of fast heat rate and give the appropriate treatment.

Fast Heart Rate – What Tests Are Needed?

History – The initial most important thing is a good history. Are there associated symptoms of palpitations, light-headedness, fatigue, and dizziness or passing out? Is there associated chest pain or shortness of breath? Is the fast heart rate intermittent or constant and do the symptoms only appear when the heart rate is elevated? What happens to the blood pressure when the heart rate is elevated? Is there a history of heart disease or prior testing? These questions are critical in determining the seriousness of the situation and determining the work up required. If there are alarm symptoms such as above then the heart rate needs work up and should not be ignored.

Physical Exam – Is the heart rate regular or irregular when it is fast. Are there physical exam signs of heart failure such as fluid retention? Also a thorough physical exam can point toward other systemic problems such a thyroid issues or other.

EKG – A baseline EKG is key. Is the heart rhythm normal or abnormal? Is there any evidence of abnormality of the heart rate or conduction system of the heart? It is particularly useful to perform an EKG during the period of fast heart rate as it may help clinch the diagnosis if there is a cardiac cause.

Blood work – Basic blood tests will be performed to rule out anemia or electrolyte abnormalities, thyroid function testing may be performed. Other testing may be performed as indicated.

Monitor – Often palpitations or fast heart rate occur intermittently and never when at the doctors office! A monitor can be worn to help catch an intermittent fast heart rate and then characterize it providing useful information. Monitors can be 1 day, several days, several weeks, or even much longer term if implanted. I personally find the utility of a monitor goes up significantly if a symptom diary is kept to record times when symptoms occur. The diary can then be crosschecked with the monitor to see any correlations.

Echocardiogram – This is an ultrasound scan of the heart that looks at the structure and function of the heart done commonly in patients with palpitations or fast heart rate.

EP study – If the heart rate elevation is felt to be from a cardiac cause, or related to abnormality of the structural system of the heart then sometimes to clarify a diagnosis electrophysiology specialists may perform an invasive test to clarify the diagnosis.

Treatment of Fast Heart Rate

Treat the Underlying Cause: Most important is to ensure there is no underlying systemic problem that is causing the fast heart rate. If there is anemia, for example, that will need to be treated. Infection and dehydration would need to be treated. Hormonal imbalances would require treating. Medications will be reviewed and any potential offending agents will need to be stopped if possible.

Medications: It is important not just to treat a number; the reason underlying must be sought out. If the fast heart rate is thought to be from a cardiac cause then the appropriate treatment should be given. If there is significant muscle dysfunction then treatment aimed at strengthening the heart is given. If there are problems with the electrical system of the heart then medicines to slow the rate may be given such a beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. In some cases stronger medicines that prevent the occurrence of the arrhythmia in the first place may be prescribed, known as anti-arrhythmic medications. Specialists known as electrophysiologists typically prescribe anti-arrhythmic medications.

Procedures: If the fast heart rate is felt to be a primary cardiac arrhythmia then procedures may be required, particularly if medications do not work. In the case of SVT, procedures known as ablation can be particularly effective. In patients with Atrial fibrillation an ablation procedure may be useful if medicines aren’t effective and symptoms are present. VT may also be treated in this manner. Ablation procedures are performed by electrophysiologists, who are cardiologists specializing in the electrical system of the heart.

Fast Heart Rate – Overview and Conclusion

A fast heart rate although often defined as a heart rate over 90 is not necessarily abnormal and each case is different. History, physical exam and diagnostic testing are required in order to determine the significance of the heart rate and to see if any treatment is required. Treatment for non-cardiac causes of fast heart rate is to address the underlying cause. In the case of cardiac causes of fast heart rate, typically medication will be tried first or in some cases a procedure required particularly if the problem is with the electrical system of the heart.

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Why Is My Heart Beating So Fast? 9 Causes Of Tachycardia

It's normal for your heartbeat to speed up when you're excited or nervous or have just had a cup of coffee or exercised. But if your heart is racing all the time or at random times throughout the day,…

It's normal for your heartbeat to speed up when you're excited or nervous or have just had a cup of coffee or exercised. But if your heart is racing all the time or at random times throughout the day, it's time to explore medical causes that could be behind your rapid heartbeat, also known as tachycardia. These causes can range from psychological to physiological, but the good news is, they're generally treatable.

"Heart racing is a very common complaint," Shephal Doshi, MD, director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, tells Bustle. "This does not always represent an abnormality. Most often, things that increase the adrenaline in the body can make the heartbeat faster and feel like it is racing. This can be a particular situation where there is a lot of stress or it can be after ingestion of things that increase the adrenaline in the body, such as caffeine or stimulants."

Anesthesiologist Edna Ma tells Bustle it's important to look at the underlying cause behind rapid heartbeat. "The most common causes of increased heart rate would be anxiety, stress (emotional and physical, including exercise, and allergic reactions), medications and withdrawal from medications, foods (e.g. energy drinks), metabolic problems (e.g. thyroid storm), anemia (e.g. bleeding from hemorrhoids or decreased marrow production of red blood cells), and cardiac and pulmonary derangements, including atrial fibrillation and pulmonary embolism. In general, treating the underlying cause is the the best approach to any vital signs, and not 'just treating the numbers.'"

If your heart rate has increased to an extent that's alarming to you, here are some possible things it could mean.


Excessive Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine may help you wake up in the morning, but it comes at a cost: It raises your heart rate, which can lead to unwanted side effects like anxiety and insomnia. If you're experiencing these side effects from caffeine, acupuncturist and natural women’s health practitioner Kristen N. Burris says to stop consuming it . "If this does not improve your heart rate immediately, then it's safe to rule it out as a cause," she tells Bustle.



One obvious reason your heart may be pounding is that you're feeling anxious. Even if you don't have a history of anxiety, the condition can be situational. If your racing heart is accompanied by feelings of anxiety, you might benefit from meditation apps, yoga, acupuncture, or therapy, says Burris. If those methods don't work, you may want to look into psychiatric medication.



Hyperthyroidism is an excess of production of the hormone thyroxine by your thyroid gland, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, agitation, a fast metabolism, sweating, and sensitivity to heat. You can get a blood test to examine your thyroid, says Burris. If there's a problem, medication can help it normalize.


Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

POTS is a condition where the rate of your blood flow changes when you change positions. To test whether you have this, you can take your pulse sitting down when you notice a rapid heartbeat, stand up, then take it again. "If your heart rate increases by 30 or more beats per minute within 10 minutes, you likely may have POTS," Burris says. You'll want to go to a dysautonomia clinic for further investigation and treatment, but you can also try at-home remedies include wearing a compression hose and having at least a gram of salt each day, says Burris.


Food Intolerances

"Some feel it's possible to have a food allergy that then triggers your heart to beat excessively," says Burris. "Some speculate it's related to a large release of histamine in response to the food you are sensitive to at that time." To figure out if this is the case, Burris recommends keeping a food diary and seeing if your heart rate is increasing in response to any particular food.



"Being sick with a fever will also cause your heart rate to increase as your immune system shifts into overdrive to try and kill the offending bacteria or virus," Scott S. Topiol, certified emergency nurse and clinical director of CPR Ready, tells Bustle. So, a rapid heart rate combined with a high temperature could warrant a trip to the doctor.


Blood Clots

An increase in heart rate isn't usually serious, but in some cases, it can be a sign of a blood clot, says Topiol. "If someone experiences a sudden, unexplained increase in their heart rate, especially if it's accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, or dizziness, they should seek emergency medical care immediately."


Medication Intolerances

"There are also some medications which can make the heart race either by directly stimulating the heart or having an indirect effect on the body, which leads to the heart racing," says Doshi. "This can occur after certain inhalers, for example." If your heart has started racing right after starting a medication, talk to your doctor about stopping it.


Lack of Food Or Water

"Dehydration causes strain on your heart, and to compensate for lack of blood circulation, your heart beats faster," cardiologist Dr. Garth Graham tells Bustle. "This causes dizziness, palpitations, and weakness." Low blood sugar can have a similar effect, so make sure you're eating and drinking enough.

"In general, if you have medical problems and your heart feels like it is racing, then you should see a physician for evaluation at some point," says Doshi. But if you're otherwise healthy and feel like you know why your heart is racing (like stress), Doshi says to see a physician if the symptoms occur often and are severe.

Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Going Up

Resting Heart Rate And Health. A relatively low resting heart rate is considered healthy, while a high resting heart rate may increase the risk of various conditions. A lower heart rate allows the heart to maintain a healthful rhythm and respond to routine stressors efficiently. These may include exercise, illness, and day-to-day activities.

Key Points About Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia

Why is My Resting Heart Rate Low?
  • In IST, the heart rate sometimes increases abnormally. You may have episodes in which the heart rate increases above 100 beats per minute.
  • Sometimes, the heart rate increases on its own. Other times, the heart rate increases because of a trigger. But it increases more than it should.
  • Some people dont have any symptoms from IST. But others do.
  • Possible treatments vary depending on the severity of your symptoms.
  • It may help to avoid potential triggers, like caffeine and nicotine and any other triggers you know cause IST.

How Is Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia Treated

  • Eliminate potential stimulants in your diet such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol
  • Take medicine to slow the heart rate such as ivabradine, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers.
  • Exercise to improve quality of life and to maintain a healthy heart

IST is often hard to treat. If you have severe symptoms that dont respond to these treatments, you may need catheter ablation. This procedure uses energy to destroy a very small part of the heart that is triggering the tachycardia. But it doesnt always work because the whole heart can be abnormal. There is also a small risk that destroying too much heart tissue might make a permanent pacemaker necessary.

Resting Heart Rate And Health

A relatively low resting heart rate is considered healthy, while a high resting heart rate may increase the risk of various conditions.

A lower heart rate allows the heart to maintain a healthful rhythm and respond to routine stressors efficiently. These may include exercise, illness, and day-to-day activities.

Having a relatively low heart rate is a significant contribution to overall health. An abnormally high heart rate can lead to a variety of health risks and conditions.

Complications associated with a high heart rate include:

Stress may cause a high heart rate.

Each heartbeat arises from specialized muscle cells called myocytes.

When these cells need more oxygen, as during exercise, the brain sends messages to the heart, causing myocytes to make stronger, more frequent pulses.

Everyone experiences sudden, temporary changes in their heart rate. They may be caused by:

Having a chronically high or abnormal heart rate is often a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle or an underlying medical condition.

Common long-term causes of a high heart rate include:

Read Also: How Is A Heart Attack Treated

Does Your Heart Have A Maximum Number Of Beats

The maximum number of lifetime heartbeats for humans is about 3 billion. But you wont die when you reach a set number of heartbeats. Heartbeats, however, are a marker of your metabolic rate. The faster your metabolic rate , the shorter your lifespan.

For example:

The total number of heartbeats per lifetime is amazingly similar across all mammals. For example, a mouse has; a heart rate of 500 to 600 beats per minute but lives less than two years. At the other extreme, a Galápagos tortoise has a heart rate of about six beats per minute and has a life expectancy of 177 years.

Do the math and the heart of a mouse beats 100 times faster than that of a tortoise. But a tortoise lives 100 times longer than a mouse. Humans, however, have about 60 bpm and have about 3 billion heartbeats per lifetime.

How Is Heart Rate Calculated

Resting Heart rate The daily variation JUSTIN TIMMER

Heart rate measures the number of times the heart beats in a minute, generally expressed as beats per minute . Your bpm is calculated by observing the carotid pulse for 15 seconds and then multiplying by 4. A stadiometer can be also used to measure your heart rate.

For most people, a normal resting heart rate is between 60-100 bpm. In highly active people like athletes, a normal resting heart rate may be as low as 40 bpm. Your average resting heart rate can be measured in the morning after a nights sleep while youre still in bed and before youve had anything to eat or drink.

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What Is Target Heart Rate

You get the most benefits when you exercise in your ”target heart rate zone.” Usually, this is when your heart rate is 60% to 80% of your maximum. In some cases, your doctor may decrease your target heart rate zone to around 50%.

Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you find a routine and target heart rate zone that match your needs, goals, and overall health.

When you start an exercise program, you may need to slowly build up to your target heart rate zone, especially if you havenât exercised regularly before. If the exercise feels too hard, slow down. Youâll lower your risk of injury and enjoy the exercise more if you don’t try to overdo it.

When you exercise, take a break and check your pulse regularly to find out whether youâre in your target zone. If your pulse is below your target zone, step up the intensity of your workout.

Youre Heavily Training And/or Overtraining

How many miles have you been running recently? Any hard or long workouts? Mixing in other types of workouts, like circuit training, strength training, workout classes, rec sports, etc?

If youve been training a lot lately, your elevated heart rate is probably just your bodys dashboard-light going on about struggling to handle it.

Kick it up a notch on your recovery habits. Make sure youre getting good sleep. Eat a robust, clean diet between workouts, and get quality protein/carbs in within a couple hours of workouts. Recover as hard as youre training: Build in days or time blocks where you do nothing but sit/lay and relax for a while.

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Understanding Your Target Heart Rate

Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.

Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist;Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H.;Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.

Why Does My Resting Heart Rate Fluctuate

What Is A Healthy Heart Rate – What Affects Heart Rate – What Is Maximum Heart Rate

You now know that there are many factors that can cause resting heart rate fluctuations. Its important to think about all of these if you observe any resting heart rate changes, as its likely to be a short term change. Its relatively normal if your RHR fluctuates a lot and, for example, you are having a varied sleep pattern, experiencing stress, taking medication, changing your training schedule, or are affected by hot weather.;

There is a wide range of normal when it comes to your RHR so yours fluctuate, it wont often be cause for concern. However, if your RHR is consistently over 100 beats per minute, then you could have tachycardia, which could be caused by a heart rhythm disorder. Alternatively, if youre not a trained athlete and your RHR is below 60 beats per minute and you are dizzy or short of breath, you could have bradycardia. In either of these cases, its important to speak to a doctor so they can look at why your RHR fluctuates.

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Can Resting Heart Rate Be Too High

Can resting heart rate be too high?

As mentioned, normal heart rate can range between 60 to 100 beats per minute. So, if your resting heart rate is consistently higher than 100, do you need to be worried?

“The more beats your heart has to take on a regular basis, the more strain it places on your heart over time. A resting heart rate regularly above 100 beats per minute is called tachycardia, which can place you at an increased risk of heart disease, and even death if your heart rate climbs high enough,” warns Dr. Chebrolu.

This means that it’s incredibly important to talk to your doctor if you’re resting heart rate is consistently high. He or she can run the tests and bloodwork needed to assess your overall heart health.

Your doctor can also recommend lifestyle changes that may help lower your resting heart rate, including:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Regularly practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation
  • Losing excess weight
  • Maintaining healthy choices and modifying your cardiovascular risk factors
  • Avoiding certain prescription and over-the-counter medications that can affect your heart rate
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use

“In particular, starting an exercise program can help you decrease your resting heart rate up to one beat per minute for every week or so that you train with reductions in resting heart rate, over time, ranging from 10 to 12 beats per minute,” adds Dr. Chebrolu.

Youre Too Hungry Too Often Or At The Wrong Times

This can especially be true if youre having trouble getting to sleep. Going to bed hungry can not only keep you awake, but your body will feel unusually revved up and warm. This is your hungry bodys sympathetic nervous system responding to a need for food by elevating your heart rate.

Barring that, depending on your eating habits, perhaps youre hungry throughout significant portions of the day.

In the morning, on the tail end of an intermittent fast, your body may react well to it. Coming off a workout or a lot of stress or physical work, or having one of those stretches in midday after a morning meal, this can instead stress the body and produce an elevated heart rate.

If you find youre not eating regularly, then start eating regularly. Carve out time and take a stand at home/work if you need to in order to carve out time to do it.

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Cardiac Output Heart Rate And Stroke Volume Responses:

Is it normal to have a 165 heart rate while exercising ...

Cardiac output refers to the total quantity of blood that is ejected by the heart and is usually measured in litres per minute.; Heart rate refers to how often the heart beats and is also meaured per minute.; Stroke volume refers to the amount of blood that is ejected by the heart with each beat.; So cardiac output is quite simply the product of heart rate and stroke volume.

Heart rate increases in a linear fashion to increases in the intensity of exercise.; This is illustrated in the adjacent graph, showing how the heart rate increases to match the incremental demands of walking, jogging and running.

It is also worth noting that heart rates start to rise prior to any type of exercise just the thought of exercise is enough to trigger a heart rate response.;

This initial response serves simply to prepare the body for activity and is controlled by the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.

Stroke volumes also rise as a person starts to exercise and continue to rise as the intensity of the activity increases.; This is shown in the adjacent stroke volume graph as the increases between standing, walking and jogging.; This increase is primarily due to a greater volume of blood returning to the heart.

The increase in stroke volume only continues up to a point however.; Once the intensity of the exercise exceeds 50-60% of an individuals maximum heart rate their stroke volume ceases to rise, as shown on the graph as the similar stroke volumes for jogging and running.;

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What Is A Normal Heart Rate

A normal resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Your number may vary. Children tend to have higher resting heart rates than adults.

The best time to measure your resting heart rate is just after you wake up in the morning, before you start moving around or have any caffeine.

Resting Heart Rate During The Night

Nightly average RHR varies widely between individuals. A normal heart rate can range anywhere from 40 to 100 beats per minute and still be considered average. It can also change from day to day, depending on your hydration level, elevation, physical activity, and body temperature. As with many of your bodys signals, its best to compare your RHR with your own baseline. Avoid comparisons to those around you.

When looking at your RHR curve, pay special attention to these three things:

  • Your trend: Does your RHR go up, down, or stay level during the night?
  • Your lowest point: When is your RHR lowest?
  • Your end: Right before you wake up, does your RHR change?

With these questions in mind, here are three patterns you may recognize in the night-time heart rate curves you can see with Oura:

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What Is A Good Resting Heart Rate By Age

A healthy resting heart rate is about 60 beats per minute, but this number varies with age. The normal range for a resting heart rate is between 60 bpm and 100 bpm. Well-conditioned athletes, however, could have a resting heart rate of around 40 bpm.

If having a low resting heart is key for health and longevity, how can you lower your resting heart rate naturally?;

Keep Your Doctor Informed Of Your Resting Heart Rate

How Do I Lower My Heart Rate Quickly?

This article is not meant to diagnose or treat you. Its intended to help you understand one aspect of your health, your resting heart rate. This article is based on scientific research, but science is continually changing. Thus, this information is subject to change.

Everyone is different and has unique circumstances. Consult with your doctor about any changes in your health, diet, and exercise.

Read my full medical disclaimer here.

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What Does A Resting Heart Rate Of 50 Bpm In A Non

It is quite normal for endurance athletes to have a lower resting heart rate than others. A low heart rate in athletes is actually a sign of an efficient and working heart. However, in others, if the heart rate becomes too slow, then a low heart rate could also signify that there are underlying health complications that you need to address.

Heart rate is measured in beats per minute or bpm. A normal resting heart rate in adults is anywhere between 60 and 80 beats per minute and it is best measured when you are either lying down or while you are sitting. You should be in a calm state. For athletes, the resting heart rate can even be as low as 30 to 40 bpm. However, if you are a non-athlete, then what does a resting heart rate of 50 bpm indicate? Lets take a look.

What Can I Do To Prevent Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia

It may not be possible to prevent IST itself. If you have IST, staying away from triggers may help you avoid episodes of increased heart rate. Possible triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Illicit drugs
  • Anxiety-provoking situations

Heart disease can make symptoms of IST worse. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways you can prevent heart disease. These include:

  • Eating a heart-healthy diet
  • Getting enough exercise and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Treating conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes

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Exercise And Your Pulse

If you check your pulse;during or immediately after exercise, it may give an indication of your fitness level. A heart rate monitor is also useful for recording your heart rate when resting and during exercise.

Aerobic activities such as walking, running and swimming are good types of exercise because they increase your heart and breathing rates.

If you haven’t exercised before, or haven’t for some time, see our Live Well section to read about the;benefits of exercise and;how much exercise you should be doing.

Anxiety Types And Treatment

Cardio do nows

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are five major types of anxiety disorders.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder, which involves persistentlong-term anxiety and exaggerated worry even without much or anything toprovoke it.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which entails recurrent undesirablethoughts and/or repetitive actions .
  • Panic disorder, which encompasses unanticipated episodesof extreme fear, alongside such physical symptoms as chest pain, being out ofbreath, heart palpitations, abdominal discomfort or dizziness.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, which can develop after experiencinga horrifying event during which you encountered or were threatened by profound physicalharm.
  • Social anxiety disorder, whichis marked by feelings of immenseanxiety and extreme self-consciousness in common social situations.

If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, discuss your concerns with your doctor. As Mayo Clinic notes, anxiety disorders are treatable and can be addressed with therapy and medication. Common types of therapy for anxiety include cognitive behavioral therapy a well-known, short-term and effective treatment in which you learn specific behavioral skills that may help improve your anxiety symptoms, Mayo Clinic explains.

Often used together with therapy, medication is generally safe and effective, and types prescribed can vary based on symptom severity and other individual factors and medical conditions, the association explains.

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Pounding Heart Rate at Night

Whether it wakes you up from a deep sleep or prevents you from falling asleep in the first place, a pounding heartbeat can be distracting and frightening. In some cases, a pounding heart rate at night is relatively harmless and only happens occasionally. In other cases, however, a pounding heart rate at night could indicate a serious condition.


Some people experience frequent heart palpitations at night.

Whether it wakes you up from a deep sleep or prevents you from falling asleep in the first place, a pounding heartbeat can be distracting and frightening. In some cases, a pounding heart rate at night is relatively harmless and only happens occasionally. In other cases, however, a pounding heart rate at night could indicate a serious condition.

Low Blood Pressure

Although the heart controls blood pressure, blood pressure in turns controls the heart. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. For most healthy adults, blood pressure tends to be lowest at night when the body is at rest. Your blood pressure slowly begins to rise upon getting out of bed and tends to peak during the afternoon. Although blood pressure regularly lowers at night, few people experience problems. In rare cases, however, the blood pressure drops so low that the body cannot receive adequate amounts of blood. In an attempt to meet the body's needs, the heart beats faster to deliver more blood. In severe cases of low blood pressure, the heart may beat so quickly that it seems to pound inside your chest.

Low Blood Sugar

Along with shakiness, dizziness and confusion, a rapid heart rate is one of the most common symptoms of low blood sugar. Also referred to as hypoglycemia, low blood sugar is a dangerous condition, particularly among patients with diabetes. The body depends heavily on sugar, which it uses to provide energy and perform necessary bodily functions. When sugar levels become too low, the body cannot function properly and the heart races in an attempt to fix the problem. Low blood sugar may result from skipping meals, exercising excessively or receiving too much insulin.


Heart palpitations and a racing heart rate are common side effects of a wide range of drugs and medications. For example, the medications used to treat asthma and high blood pressure often cause the heart to beat quite rapidly. Although nicotine and caffeine are typically not thought of as drugs, they also fit into this category. Upon entering the body, nicotine and caffeine stimulate the central nervous system. During the day, you may not notice the excess stimulation since your body is in motion and your mind is focused elsewhere. However, this stimulation becomes extremely obvious at night when your body is at rest. If you frequently take medications, smoke cigarettes or drink caffeine in the evening, try to do so at least three to four hours before bedtime.

Nightmares and Night Terrors

Most people have experienced nightmares at some point in their lives, causing them to wake up abruptly with a racing heartbeat, quick respiration and sweat on the forehead. Although night terrors also involve frightening and vivid dreams, people experiencing night terrors remain asleep throughout the entire episode and rarely remember the dream upon waking. Oftentimes, nightmares and night terrors are relatively harmless. Although they may temporarily cause increased heart rate and respiration, the pounding heart rate quickly returns to normal upon waking. However, consult a physician if the nightmares or night tremors frequently disrupt your sleep or lead to injury.

What’s Happening When Your Heart Beats Too Hard or Too ...

24-08-2016 · A heart beating too fast or too hard can be a messenger telling us that we need to acknowledge and own stressful or negative emotions lurking just below the surface. For example, say you’re out with friends to celebrate a big promotion or retirement. It’s a happy occasion; still, your heart starts racing. Why? Perhaps beneath your excitement, you’re also fearful about what the future holds …


By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

If there’s a type of heart palpitation that tends to cause more worry than others, it’s when the heart starts beating unusually hard or fast, seemingly without reason.

One minute you’re going about your business, and the next your heart is racing and you can’t control it!

Fortunately, most episodes of racing heartbeat are not dangerous. To accurately assess your risk, it’s important to understand what causes your heart to beat extra hard and fast, and what complicating factors could make it more than just a passing event.

Why Your Heart Might Beat Too Hard or Too Fast

A sudden change in heart rate can occur under virtually any circumstance—whether you’re working outside or sitting at a desk, or laughing or crying—which is one reason an unexpected pounding or racing heart is such an attention-grabber. While the episodes may seem to have nothing in common, it’s been my experience that most can be traced to two causes:

Hidden emotions

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, our heart rate reflects our emotions. A heart beating too fast or too hard can be a messenger telling us that we need to acknowledge and own stressful or negative emotions lurking just below the surface.

For example, say you’re out with friends to celebrate a big promotion or retirement. It’s a happy occasion; still, your heart starts racing. Why? Perhaps beneath your excitement, you’re also fearful about what the future holds and how you’ll cope with it. Or maybe you’ve been struggling with one of your children. You brush aside the stress and tell yourself, “It’s their life.” But then out of nowhere, while you’re doing something completely unrelated, your heart starts pounding.

Despite what we tell ourselves about our lives, the heart never lies. Our brains rationalize our guilt, shame, fear, and anger, but the heart always knows our truth—and sometimes it will beat in unusual ways to bring our attention to those issues. So if you’ve been experiencing a racing or pounding heart, first ask yourself if you’re harboring untended emotions. An honest answer to that question often will begin to resolve the heart rate issue.

Environmental hazards, like EMF exposure

When spontaneous surges in the heart rate aren’t related to emotions, I look for environmental causes. Exposure to chemicals, poor air quality, specific foods and food additives, and EMF are all potential culprits.

EMF, especially, is high on my list. Though the studies are still producing mixed results on the degree to which EMF can affect heart rate, specifically, I hear anecdotal evidence in support of the fact that it does, just about everywhere I go. On my last trip to the west coast, I met a young mother who told me that her son frequently suffers from a rapid heartbeat while at school. Since the boy is fine while he’s at home, they think the problem is due to the fact that he’s exposed to wi-fi all day long.

Wi-fi isn’t the only source of trouble, of course. Cell phones and cell phone signaling towers, microwave ovens, baby monitors, and cordless phones all emit radiation that can potentially cause the heart to beat too hard or too fast. In fact, one study found that using a cordless phone caused a disturbance in heart rate variability in 40 percent of study participants, as well as a link between cordless phone use and both elevated heart rate and an increase in the number of irregular heartbeats.

Should You Worry About a Heartbeat That’s Too Hard or Too Fast?

If a pounding or racing heart happens to you repeatedly, by all means see a doctor and get it checked out. Don’t assume that because you’re in good health, nothing is wrong. Recurrent episodes could be the first sign of emerging cardiovascular concerns.

For others, your risk when your heart beats too hard or too fast depends on two things: your heart rate variability (HRV) and the structure and function of your heart.

In people who have good heart rate variability—that is, whose hearts beat with a wide range of speed and intensity—are at far lower risk than people whose HRV is more restricted. When a heart with poor HRV is suddenly pushed to its limit, more serious events can occur.

You also have more risk if your heart is compromised in some way, as a physical abnormality has the potential to disrupt the electrical signals that govern the heartbeat. Heart attack survivors, especially, are at risk because their hearts have areas of scar tissue. Not only must the normal electrical signals travel around these areas, but the scar itself can sometimes be a source of ectopic beats. Sudden increases in heart rate have the ability to scramble the electrical signals and excite the source of ectopic beats, leading to potentially fatal arrhythmia.

Minimize Your Risk From a Racing Heart

For everyone, the best way to minimize risk is to improve your heart rate variability. To start, work on managing your stress, and find ways to bring balance into your life, such as yoga, meditation, or prayer. I also highly recommend grounding, since it helps calm the autonomic nervous system. Finally, stay away from environmental pollutants—and limit time on your cell phone or other wireless device!

6 Natural Ways to Stop PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions)


© 2016 HeartMD Institute. All rights reserved.

Heart palpitations at night: Causes and treatments

25-06-2020 · Heart palpitations can be scary, particularly if they happen during the night when a person is lying down to sleep. When they occur, a person may feel a pulsing sensation in their neck, chest, or ...


Medically reviewed by Dr. Sirisha Yellayi, DOWritten by Jenna Fletcher on June 25, 2020

Heart palpitations can be scary, particularly if they happen during the night when a person is lying down to sleep. When they occur, a person may feel a pulsing sensation in their neck, chest, or throat.

Although heart palpitations are not usually a cause for concern, they can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition.

In this article, we look at what heart palpitations are, what causes them, and the treatment options to help reduce their frequency.

a woman lying in bed awake at night possibly due to heart palpitationsShare on Pinterest
External factors or an underlying health condition may cause heart palpitations at night.

People with heart palpitations typically experience one or more of the following sensations:

  • a rapid heartbeat
  • a fluttering heart
  • skipping beats or extra beats

The palpitations can start at any time of the day, including at night, when a person is resting. They can last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Heart palpitations are common, and doctors generally consider them harmless.

People who sleep on their side, in particular on the left side, may be more prone to heart palpitations at night. The reason for this is that the heart is right next to the chest wall, and the sensation reverberates.

Heart palpitations may also be more noticeable at night because there are fewer distractions and lower noise levels when lying in bed.

There are several possible causes of heart palpitations, including external factors and some underlying health conditions.

Some common causes include:

  • exercise or other physical activity
  • certain medications, such as asthma inhalers, cold medicine, or thyroid pills
  • alcohol
  • stress or other strong emotions
  • recreational drug use
  • caffeine
  • nicotine use

A number of underlying conditions can also cause heart palpitations, including:

A 2018 study involving 688 people with heart palpitations found that in 81% of cases, symptoms were associated with cardiac arrhythmia. The authors suggest that early detection and treatment of arrhythmia are key to treating the condition.

The following triggers may also cause heart palpitations:

  • dehydration
  • pregnancy
  • fever
  • eating rich foods or foods that are high in monosodium glutamate (MSG), fat, or sugar

Occasional heart palpitations do not necessarily require medical advice or treatment.

However, a person should see a doctor if they experience the following symptoms:

Heart palpitations occur randomly. Due to this, they may not happen during a consultation with a doctor or while wearing a heart monitor, which can make the diagnosis more challenging.

To diagnose heart palpitations, a doctor will ask questions about:

  • when the palpitations occur
  • the sensations that they cause
  • the length of the palpitations
  • how frequently they occur
  • suspected triggers of the palpitations, such as medications, caffeine, or eating a heavy meal
  • a person’s lifestyle
  • any known underlying conditions

The doctor will then perform a physical examination.

They may also order one or more tests, including:

  • Holter monitoring to monitor a person’s heart for 24–48 hours to show how the heart typically functions
  • an electrocardiogram (EKG), which reports the heart’s rhythm
  • an ultrasound of the heart to examine its structure
  • a loop recorder, which is an implanted device that looks for abnormalities in heart rhythm over time
  • a stress test
  • blood tests to check for underlying conditions, such as anemia, thyroid imbalance, or low potassium

Treatment for heart palpitations will vary depending on the cause.

If the cause is unclear, the usual course of action is to make lifestyle changes, such as:

  • reducing stress, for example, by practicing meditation techniques
  • quitting smoking, if applicable, and avoiding secondhand smoke
  • avoiding caffeine

Other measures that may help include:

  • reducing or eliminating the intake of alcohol
  • drinking enough water or other liquids
  • eating regular meals
  • getting enough sleep

A doctor may also review a person’s medications and supplements to determine whether they are causing or contributing to palpitations.

If a known underlying condition is the cause, a person should follow medical advice to treat the condition.

If a heart condition is causing heart palpitations, a person should talk to a doctor about treatment options. Some common treatments include:

  • Cardiac ablation: A doctor threads small wires through the legs into the heart to find the location of the arrhythmia. They then use energy to destroy the area of heart tissue responsible.
  • Defibrillator: Doctors implant a device to regulate the heartbeat.
  • Cardioversion: Electrical shocks help return the heart to a normal rhythm.
  • Medications: Medications, such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers, help the heart return to a normal rhythm.

It may not always be possible to stop heart palpitations, but, in most cases, they go away on their own.

The following actions may help reduce palpitations:

  • splashing cold water on the face
  • clenching the stomach and anal muscles and then bearing down as though making a bowel movement
  • trying deep breathing
  • pinching the nose and breathing hard out of it

If none of the above methods work, a person should contact the emergency medical services. The palpitations may be the result of an underlying heart condition.

Learn more about stopping heart palpitations here.

Heart palpitations can happen at any time of the day or night.

There are numerous possible causes and triggers, such as taking certain medications or consuming too much caffeine.

Heart palpitations can also occur due to one of several underlying health conditions, which range in severity and include dehydration and heart disease.

Heart palpitations should go away within a few seconds to a few minutes. If they do not, or sensations of confusion, chest pain, or trouble breathing accompany them, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Last medically reviewed on June 25, 2020

  • Anxiety / Stress
  • Cardiovascular / Cardiology
  • Nutrition / Diet
  • Cat 1
  • arrhythmia
Tachycardia - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

This content does not have an English version.This content does not have an Arabic version. Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. There are many heart rhythm…

This content does not have an English version.

This content does not have an Arabic version.

Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute. There are many heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that can cause tachycardia.

Sometimes, it's normal for you to have a fast heartbeat. For instance, it's normal for your heart rate to rise during exercise or as a response to stress, trauma or illness. But in tachycardia (tak-ih-KAHR-dee-uh), the heart beats faster than normal due to conditions unrelated to normal physiological stress.

In some cases, tachycardia may cause no symptoms or complications. But if left untreated, tachycardia can disrupt normal heart function and lead to serious complications, including:

  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Sudden cardiac arrest or death

Treatments, such as drugs, medical procedures or surgery, may help control a rapid heartbeat or manage other conditions contributing to tachycardia.

Types of tachycardia

There are many different types of tachycardia. They're grouped according to the part of the heart responsible for the fast heart rate and cause of the abnormally fast heartbeat. Common types of tachycardia include:

  • Atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a rapid heart rate caused by chaotic, irregular electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart (atria). These signals result in rapid, uncoordinated, weak contractions of the atria.

    Atrial fibrillation may be temporary, but some episodes won't end unless treated. Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of tachycardia.

  • Atrial flutter. In atrial flutter, the heart's atria beat very fast but at a regular rate. The fast rate results in weak contractions of the atria. Atrial flutter is caused by irregular circuitry within the atria.

    Episodes of atrial flutter may go away themselves or may require treatment. People who have atrial flutter also often have atrial fibrillation at other times.

  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Supraventricular tachycardia is an abnormally fast heartbeat that starts somewhere above the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). It's caused by abnormal circuitry in the heart that is usually present at birth and creates a loop of overlapping signals.
  • Ventricular tachycardia. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid heart rate that starts with abnormal electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The rapid heart rate doesn't allow the ventricles to fill and contract efficiently to pump enough blood to the body.

    Ventricular tachycardia episodes may be brief and last only a couple of seconds without causing harm. But episodes lasting more than a few seconds can become a life-threatening medical emergency.

  • Ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation occurs when rapid, chaotic electrical impulses cause the lower heart chambers (ventricles) to quiver instead of pumping necessary blood to the body. This can be deadly if the heart isn't restored to a normal rhythm within minutes with an electric shock to the heart (defibrillation).

    Ventricular fibrillation may occur during or after a heart attack. Most people who have ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart disease or have experienced serious trauma, such as being struck by lightning.

Mayo Clinic electrophysiologist Fred Kusumoto, M.D., explains what happens in the heart to create atrial fibrillation and what can be done to fix it.


When your heart is beating too fast, it may not pump enough blood to the rest of your body. This can starve your organs and tissues of oxygen and can cause the following tachycardia-related signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid pulse rate
  • Heart palpitations — a racing, uncomfortable or irregular heartbeat or a sensation of "flopping" in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting (syncope)

Some people with tachycardia have no symptoms, and the condition is only discovered during a physical examination or with a heart-monitoring test called an electrocardiogram.

When to see a doctor

A number of conditions can cause a rapid heart rate and tachycardia symptoms. It's important to get a prompt, accurate diagnosis and appropriate care. See your doctor if you or your child has any tachycardia symptoms.

If you faint, have difficulty breathing or have chest pain lasting more than a few minutes, get emergency care, or call 911 or your local emergency number. Seek emergency care for anyone experiencing these symptoms.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic


Tachycardia is caused by something that disrupts the normal electrical impulses that control the rate of your heart's pumping action. Many things can cause or contribute to a fast heart rate. These include:

  • Anemia
  • Drinking too many caffeinated beverages
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Exercise
  • Fever
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Imbalance of electrolytes, mineral-related substances necessary for conducting electrical impulses
  • Medication side effects
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Smoking
  • Sudden stress, such as fright
  • Use of stimulant drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine

In some cases, the exact cause of tachycardia can't be determined.

The heart's electrical system

To understand the causes of heart rate or rhythm problems such as tachycardia, it helps to understand how the heart's electrical system works.

Your heart is made up of four chambers — two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). Your heartbeat is normally controlled by a natural pacemaker called the sinus node, which is located in the right atrium. The sinus node produces electrical impulses that normally start each heartbeat.

From the sinus node, electrical impulses travel across the atria, causing the atrial muscles to contract and pump blood into the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).

The electrical impulses then arrive at a cluster of cells called the atrioventricular (AV) node — usually the only pathway for signals to travel from the atria to the ventricles.

The AV node slows down the electrical signal before sending it to the ventricles. This slight delay allows the ventricles to fill with blood. When electrical impulses reach the muscles of the ventricles, they contract, causing them to pump blood either to the lungs or to the rest of the body.

When anything disrupts this complex system, it can cause the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or with an irregular rhythm.

Risk factors

Growing older or having a family history of tachycardia or other heart rhythm disorder makes you more likely to develop tachycardia.

Any condition that puts a strain on the heart or damages heart tissue can increase your risk of tachycardia. Such conditions include:

  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Heavy caffeine use
  • High blood pressure
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Psychological stress or anxiety
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Use of stimulant drugs

Lifestyle changes or medical treatment for related health conditions may decrease your risk of tachycardia.


Complications of tachycardia depend on the type of tachycardia, how fast the heart is beating, how long the rapid heart rate lasts and if you have any other heart conditions.

Possible complications include:

  • Blood clots that can cause a stroke or heart attack
  • Inability of the heart to pump enough blood (heart failure)
  • Frequent fainting spells or unconsciousness
  • Sudden death, usually only associated with ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation


The most effective way to prevent tachycardia is to maintain a healthy heart and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you already have heart disease, monitor it and follow your treatment plan to help prevent tachycardia.

Prevent heart disease

Treat or eliminate risk factors that may lead to heart disease. Take the following steps:

  • Exercise and eat a healthy diet. Live a heart-healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly and eating a healthy, low-fat diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol.
  • Stop smoking. If you smoke and can't quit on your own, talk to your doctor about strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit.
  • Drink in moderation. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. For some conditions, it's recommended that you completely avoid alcohol. Ask your doctor for advice specific to your condition.
  • Don't use recreational drugs. Don't use stimulants, such as cocaine. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate program for you if you need help ending recreational drug use.
  • Use over-the-counter medications with caution. Some cold and cough medications contain stimulants that may trigger a rapid heartbeat. Ask your doctor which medications you need to avoid.
  • Limit caffeine. If you drink caffeinated beverages, do so in moderation (no more than one to two beverages daily).
  • Control stress. Avoid unnecessary stress and learn coping techniques to handle normal stress in a healthy way.
  • Go to scheduled checkups. Have regular physical exams and report any signs or symptoms to your doctor.

Monitor and treat existing heart disease

If you already have heart disease, you can take steps to help prevent tachycardia or another arrhythmia:

  • Follow the plan. Be sure you understand your treatment plan, and take all medications as prescribed.
  • Report changes immediately. If your symptoms change or get worse or you develop new symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.

Tachycardia care at Mayo Clinic

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  1. Homoud MK, et al. Sinus tachycardia: Evaluation and management. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 3, 2020.
  2. Zipes DP, et al., eds. Diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias. In: Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 5, 2020.
  3. Crawford MH, ed. Ventricular tachycardia. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Cardiology. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed March 3, 2020.
  4. What is an arrhythmia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arr/. Accessed March 3, 2020.
  5. Overview of arrhythmias. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular_disorders/arrhythmias_and_conduction_disorders/overview_of_arrhythmias.html?qt=arrhythmia&alt=sh. Accessed March 3, 2020.
  6. What is catheter ablation? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ablation/. Accessed March 3, 2020.
  7. Prevention & treatment of arrhythmia. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Prevention-Treatment-of-Arrhythmia_UCM_002026_Article.jsp. Accessed March 5, 2020.
  8. Riggin ER. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic. March 9, 2020.
  9. Tachycardia — Fast heart rate. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/AboutArrhythmia/Tachycardia-Fast-Heart-Rate_UCM_302018_Article.jsp#.V7s5Rmf2bIU. Accessed March 5, 2020.
  10. Noseworthy PA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. March 27, 2020.
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Heart Palpitations: Causes, Treatments, After Eating ...

Palpitations make you feel like your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering. You may notice heart palpitations in your chest, throat, or neck.

Palpitations make you feel like your heart is beating too hard or too fast, skipping a beat, or fluttering. You may notice heart palpitations in your chest, throat, or neck.

They can be bothersome or frightening. They usually aren't serious or harmful, though, and often go away on their own. Most of the time, they're caused by stress and anxiety, or because you’ve had too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. They can also happen when you’re pregnant.

In rare cases, palpitations can be a sign of a more serious heart condition. If you have heart palpitations, see your doctor. Get immediate medical attention if they come with:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting

After your doctor takes your medical history and looks you over, they may order tests to find the cause. If they find one, the right treatment can reduce or get rid of the palpitations.

If there’s no underlying cause, lifestyle changes can help, including stress management.

There can be many. Usually, palpitations are either related to your heart or the cause is unknown. Non-heart-related causes include:

  • Strong emotions like anxiety, fear, or stress. They often happen during panic attacks.
  • Vigorous physical activity
  • Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or illegal drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines
  • Medical conditions, including thyroid disease, a low blood sugar level, anemia, low blood pressure, fever, and dehydration
  • Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or just before menopause. Sometimes, palpitations during pregnancy are signs of anemia.
  • Medications, including diet pills, decongestants, asthma inhalers, and some drugs used to prevent arrhythmias (a serious heart rhythm problem) or treat an underactive thyroid
  • Some herbal and nutritional supplements
  • Abnormal electrolyte levels

Some people have palpitations after heavy meals rich in carbohydrates, sugar, or fat. Sometimes, eating foods with a lot of monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, or sodium can bring them on, too.

If you have heart palpitations after eating certain foods, it could be due to food sensitivity. Keeping a food diary can help you figure out which foods to avoid.

They can also be related to heart disease. When they are, they’re more likely to represent arrhythmia. Heart conditions tied to palpitations include:

Your doctor will:

  • Give you a physical exam
  • Take down your medical history
  • Want to know about your current medications, diet, and lifestyle
  • Ask for specifics about when, how often, and under what circumstances your palpitations occur

Sometimes, a blood test can help your doctor find the cause of your palpitations. Other useful tests include:

Electrocardiogram(EKG): This can be done while you’re at rest or exercising. The latter is called a stress EKG. In both cases, the test records your heart's electrical signals and can find unusual heart rhythms.

Holter monitoring: You’ll wear a monitor on your chest. It continuously records your heart's electrical signals for 24 to 48 hours. It can identify rhythm differences that weren't picked up during an EKG.

Event recording: You’ll wear a device on your chest and use a handheld gadget to record your heart's electrical signals when symptoms occur.

Chest X-ray: Your doctor will check for changes in your lungs that could come from heart problems. For example, if they find fluid in your lungs, it may come from heart failure.

Echocardiogram: This is an ultrasound of your heart. It provides detailed information about its structure and function.

If necessary, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for more tests or treatment.

This depends on their cause. Often, palpitations are harmless and go away on their own. In that case, no treatment is needed.

If your doctor doesn't find a cause, they may advise you to avoid the things that might trigger the palpitations. Strategies may include:

Ease anxiety and stress. Leave a stressful situation and try to be calm. Anxiety, stress, fear, or panic can cause palpitations. Other common ways to stay calm include:

  • Relaxation exercises
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Biofeedback
  • Guided imagery
  • Aromatherapy

Cut out certain foods, beverages, and other substances. These may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Illegal drugs

Avoid medications that act as stimulants. You may have to steer clear of:

  • Cough and cold medicines
  • Certain herbal and nutritional supplements

If lifestyle changes don’t help, you may be prescribed medications. In some cases, these will be beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers.

If your doctor finds a reason for your palpitations, they will focus on treating that reason.

If they’re caused by a medication, your doctor will try to find a different treatment.

If they represent an arrhythmia, you may get medications or procedures. You may also be referred to a heart rhythm specialist known as an electrophysiologist.

Make sure to check in with your doctor. Often, palpitations aren’t serious, but they can be related to abnormal heart valves, heart rhythm problems, or panic attacks.

Always call a doctor if palpitations change in nature or increase suddenly.

Call 911 right away if you have these symptoms along with palpitations:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Passing out
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, pressure, or tightness in the chest, neck, jaw, arms, or upper back

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Is your heart racing at night? Does it wake you up from sleep or keep you from falling asleep? If your heart is pounding almost every night, you may need to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. But if it happens only occasionally, then it may not be a serious problem. However, you may want to learn what causes fast heartbeat at night, read on to find your answer and possible effective remedies for you.

What Can Cause Heart Racing at Night?

1. Nightmares or Night Terrors

If you suddenly wake up with yourheart racing, you may have been experiencing nightmares. This symptom may be accompanied by fast breathing and sweating on the forehead. People who have night terrors usually remain asleep throughout their experience and do not remember their dreams, but they may experience rapid heartbeats. Although nightmares or night terrors are harmless, they can disrupt sleep or lead to some injury if they occur often.

2. Emotional Triggers

Heart racing at night can also be due to emotional triggers. Rapid heart rates are often triggered by emotional factors such as anxiety, stress or excitement, all of which increase the amount of adrenaline (a hormone) produced by the body.

3. Hormonal Changes in Period, Pregnancy and Menopause

Hormonal and other bodily changes during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause can cause your heart to beat faster. Fortunately, if you are otherwise healthy, these changes are temporary and will not cause serious problems.

4. Certain Medications or Substance

You may be taking certain medications that cause heart racing at night. Palpitation is a common side effect of many medications. Drugs medications used to treat high blood pressure and asthma, for example, often cause your heart to beat rapidly. Besides, the consumption of spicy foods, caffeine, nicotine alcohol and recreational drugs can also make your heart beat faster. Such an effect may be more obvious at night when your body rests.

5. Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force that the blood exerts against the walls of your arteries. For healthy adults, blood pressure is lowest when the body is at rest, usually at night. In the morning, as you get out of bed, your blood pressure slowly rises and tends to be the highest in the afternoon.

However, a few people have very low blood pressure at night, so the body needs to increase heart rate to maintain good circulation of blood. In severe cases, your heart may beat too fastso it gives you a feeling of heart racing at night.

6. Low Blood Sugar Level

Having a low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia) can cause your heart to beat faster, and you may experience other symptoms like dizziness, confusion, and shakiness. This can be a dangerous situation, particularly if you have diabetes. Your body depends on sugar for energy to be able to function. When your sugar level becomes too low, your body cannot function well, so your heart beats rapidly to overcome the problem. This can happen when you skip meals, exercise too hard or receive too much insulin.

7. Heart Disease

Heart racing at night may be a symptom of heart disease, which may be associated with coronary artery disease, a previous heart attack, or other problems in the heart valves or heart muscle. Click HERE to learn warning signs of heart problems.

8. Other Health Conditions

You may have a medical condition that causes your heart to beat faster. Rapid heartbeats may be caused by a number of medical problems that need further evaluation and treatment such as:

  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • High fever (body temperature of 38°C/100.4°F or higher)
  • ŸDehydration

When to Seek Medical Help

If you experienceheart racing at night that lasts only a few seconds, you may not need medical evaluation. However, if you have frequent palpitations or a medical problem that may cause your palpitations to worsen, call your doctor. You may need further tests like heart-monitoring tests to see what is causing your problem.

Seek emergency care if you also experience:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Fainting
  • Severe dizziness
  • Sudden shortness of breath

How to Deal with Heart Racing at Night

Treatment options of heart racing at night depend on the underlying cause. In most cases, it is harmless and may go away without treatment. Your doctor may suggest you to avoid certain triggers and modify your lifestyle such as:

1. Medications

Treatments for palpitation include antiarrhythmic drugs, such as beta blockers or calcium channel blockers. If these medications do not effectively reduce your palpitations, stronger drugs that act directly on the heart may be necessary. Remember to follow the medical professional's advice on when taking medication.

2. Catheter Ablation

This procedure involves small wires being threaded from your leg veins into your heart to trigger arrhythmia, in order to identify and treat the problem areas. This is highly effective when the specific region causing the heart problem is identified, such as an SVT or supraventricular tachycardia.

3. Home Remedies

If you do not have any medical problem that needs specific treatment, certain remedies may be sufficient to relieve heart racing at night.Here are some effective home remedies:

  • Taking grape juice several times a day can help with palpitation.
  • Ripe guava may be eaten on an empty stomach; also good for anemia and nervousness.
  • Powdered anise seeds combined with dry coriander.
  • Honey can be taken with a glass of water and lemon juice, before going to bed.

4. Avoid Triggers

Avoid foods and beverages or substances that cause palpitations like nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and drugs. Avoid certain medications that stimulate the heart, such as medicines for cough and colds, and some herbal or nutritional supplements.

5. Manage Your Emotions

Managing stress and avoiding strong emotions. Stress-reducing techniques include yoga, biofeedback, tai chi, guided imagery, aromatherapy and otherrelaxation exercises.

6. Comfort and Reassurance

Sometimes, your symptoms are not related to a serious condition. With some reassurance from a medical professional, you may overcome your symptoms without specific medical treatment.

7. Preventive Tips

If your doctor says that no treatment is necessary, you can try to avoid getting palpitations by doing these tips:

  • Keep a daily journal of activities, foods and beverages, and other things that may trigger your palpitations so you can avoid them. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Don't smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet to keep your blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control.
  • Exercise regularly. Try some relaxation exercises, like deep breathing or yoga to reduce stress.
  • Ask your doctor about switching medications if you think they are causing palpitations.
Why Do I Have Heart Palpitations at Night?

16-01-2019 · Heart palpitations at night occur when you get the feeling of a strong pulse in your chest, neck, or head after you lay down to sleep. It’s important to note that while these may be unsettling ...


Heart palpitations at night occur when you get the feeling of a strong pulse in your chest, neck, or head after you lay down to sleep. It’s important to note that while these may be unsettling, they’re usually normal and aren’t typically a sign of anything more serious.

If you sleep on your side, you may be more susceptible to heart palpitations at night due to the way your body bends and pressure builds up internally.

The most common form of palpitation unrelated to your heart occurs when bending over, as there’s an increase in abdominal pressure that then transports to your esophagus, which is located behind the left atrium of your heart.

Another factor to consider when experiencing palpitations at night is that they may be occurring throughout the day, but you’re only noticing them at night due to lower noise levels and reduced distractions as you lie in bed.

The symptoms of heart palpitations can be concerning if they’re unexpected or you haven’t experienced them before. Symptoms include:

  • the feeling of an irregular pulse or that your heart stopped briefly
  • a sensation of “fluttering” in your chest
  • a fast or pounding heart rate

Short and infrequent palpitations at night are generally not a cause for alarm. According to the Mayo Clinic, they’re usually harmless.

However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you experience heart palpitations along with any of the following symptoms:

There are several factors that can lead to heart palpitations, some of which you may come into contact with every day, including:

  • stimulants, such as caffeine, nicotine, over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine, or drugs like cocaine or amphetamines
  • medical conditions, such as anemia, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, or thyroid disease
  • chocolate
  • alcohol
  • fatigue or lack of sleep
  • depression or anxiety
  • stress
  • fever
  • rigorous exercise
  • changes in hormones due to pregnancy, menopause, or menstruation

Unless you’ve already seen your doctor and determined that you have an underlying heart condition, heart palpitations generally don’t require any treatment. Symptoms tend to go away within a few seconds.

Avoiding triggers of palpitations is the most important way you can prevent them. For example, if you’re a heavy smoker or drinker, consider quitting or cutting back your tobacco or alcohol intake.

One method of identifying triggers is to keep track of the nights that you experience heart palpitations and ask these questions:

  • When did the episode occur?
  • How long did it last?
  • How were you feeling before and after?
  • Are you excessively worried about something?
  • Were you doing any activities when it happened?
  • Did you participate in any unusual behavior — such as consuming food you don’t typically eat — before going to bed?

Sharing this information with your doctor can also help them identify any underlying conditions that may require treatment.

If you’re experiencing frequent heart palpitations at night, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. They can conduct a review of your medical history. They might recommend a physical examination and tests, such as:

If your doctor suspects you have an underlying condition, they may also need to conduct more invasive studies.

While heart palpitations at night can be concerning, it’s likely nothing to be worried about.

If your symptoms worsen or persist for a long period of time, set up an appointment with your doctor. They can determine if you have a more serious condition or if your condition makes you more susceptible to heart enlargement.

Read this article in Spanish.


21-08-2020 · In case you are having a sudden increase in heart rate, your physician may do some tests on you to find the cause of the problem. An electrocardiogram is a recording of the electric signals produced by your heart. This test is non-invasive and may be done in a physician’s office or you may be sent home along with a portable device so that you can take the test while you are at home. The ...


Under normal conditions, a healthy adult’s heart rate range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. There may be a sudden occasional increase in heart beat, which resolves in a couple of minutes. The condition is referred to as tachycardia and is generally harmless. However, if your increased heart beat is recurring or persistent or if other symptoms are also present, then you should consult a physician.

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What Are the Symptoms of Sudden Increase in Heart Rate?

When the heart beats too quickly, it is not able to effectively pump blood to the other organs of your body. This may deprive the tissues and organs of your body of oxygen and may result in the following symptoms and signs related to tachycardia:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased pulse rate
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations, irregular, uncomfortable or racing heartbeat or flopping sensation in chest
  • Fainting or syncope

In some individuals, tachycardia may produce no symptoms and signs and the condition is discovered when a physical exam is conducted or during an electrocardiogram (a test to monitor heart).

When to Visit Your Physician?

Symptoms of tachycardia and increased heart rate can be caused by numerous medical conditions. It’s imperative to get accurate and prompt diagnosis of the condition and appropriate treatment. You should visit your physician if either your kid or you develop any symptoms of tachycardia.

If you develop a fainting episode, have difficulty in breathing or develop chest pain that lasts longer than few minutes, it is imperative to get immediate emergency medical care or you should call your local medical emergency number or 911. You should seek immediate emergency care if anyone else is having these symptoms.


The severity of complications of sudden increase in heart rate varies, depending on several factors including the kind of tachycardia, the duration and rate of tachycardia and presence of other problems of heart. Some of the possible complications are:

  • Blood clots, which may lead to heart attack or stroke
  • Heart failure, which is characterized by inability of heart to pump sufficient quantity of blood
  • Frequent spells of fainting or unconsciousness
  • Sudden death, which is usually associated with ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia

What Are the Possible Causes?

Tachycardia is usually caused by anything that creates a problem with the electrical impulses, which control rate of the pumping action of the heart. There are multiple things that can disrupt the electrical system of the heart. Some of these are:

  • Damage to tissues of the heart due to heart disease
  • Anemia
  • Congenital disease or abnormality of heart
  • Electrical pathways that are not normal and present in the heart at birth (congenital conditions such as long QT syndrome)
  • Exercise
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Sudden stress, for instance fright
  • Smoking
  • Drinking excessive alcohol
  • Fever
  • Drinking excessive caffeine containing beverages
  • Side effects of medicines
  • Recreational drug abuse, such as cocaine
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Electrolyte imbalance (as minerals are required for proper conduction of electrical impulses)

In certain cases, the cause of sudden increase in heart rate can’t exactly be found.  

Risk Factors

The risk of getting tachycardia is increased by any condition, which strains the heart or causes damage to the tissues of the heart. Medical treatment or lifestyle changes may lower the risk that is increased by the below mentioned factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid gland
  • Diabetes
  • Heavy use of caffeine
  • Heavy use of alcohol
  • Anemia
  • Psychological anxiety or stress
  • Use of drugs of recreation

Certain other factors, which may raise your risk of getting tachycardia, are:

  • Older age: Elderly are at an increased risk of getting tachycardia due to wear and tear of the heart related to age.
  • Family: Positive family history of heart rhythm disorders and tachycardia in particular increases your risk.

Medical Tests

In case you are having a sudden increase in heart rate, your physician may do some tests on you to find the cause of the problem. An electrocardiogram is a recording of the electric signals produced by your heart. This test is non-invasive and may be done in a physician’s office or you may be sent home along with a portable device so that you can take the test while you are at home. The physician may also conduct an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. Other tests are a tilt table test and an electrophysiological test.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Vagal Maneuvers

Your heartbeat is regulated by the vagal nerve. Maneuvers, which affect vagal nerve are heaving (like you were passing stool), coughing and putting an ice pack on your face.


You can take antiarrhythmic drugs either orally or get them injected. They make the heartbeat normal. The drugs are given in a hospital. The drugs that are available control heart rate; restore normal rhythm of heart or do both. Sometimes, you may need more than one drug to control your tachycardia.


An electric shock is given to heart using patches or paddles. The electrical impulses of the heart are affected by this and this helps in restoring normal rhythm. This is done in hospital.

Learn the Prevention Measures

Certain measures can be taken to prevent a sudden increase in heartbeat or it becoming a health concern.

Ablation by Radiofrequency Catheter

Catheters are made to enter the heart through blood vessels. Electrodes are present at the catheter ends; they are heated and used to damage or ablate the small area of heart that is causing the fast heartbeat.


Anti-arrhythmic drugs, if taken regularly can help in preventing tachycardia. Your physician may prescribe other medicines that should be taken along with anti-arrhythmic drugs including channel blockers, such as Cardizem (diltiazem) and Calan (verapamil), or beta-blockers, such as Inderal (propranolol) and Brevibloc (esmolol).

ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator)

It is a device, which monitors your heartbeat continuously. It is implanted surgically into the chest. It detects any abnormality in heartbeat and gives electric shocks to bring back heart rhythm to normal.


In some cases surgery is required to remove an area of tissue. This is only done in cases where other therapies are ineffective or if the patient has another disorder of the heart.


Warfarin makes blood clotting difficult and is generally given to persons who have moderate or high risk of having heart attack or stroke. Though, with warfarin the risk of bleeding is raised, it is given to persons, in whom, the risk of heart attack or stroke is greater in comparison to risk of bleeding.

Why Does My Resting Heart Rate Fluctuate

Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because youre not exercising. If youre sitting or lying and youre calm, relaxed and arent ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 ;and 100 . But a heart rate lower than …

What Are Heart Palpitations

Why does your resting heart rate decrease?

A heart palpitation is when you suddenly become aware of your heart beating, usually in an irregular way. Sometimes you can feel it in your ears or your chest when youre lying down. Your heart beat may feel:

  • too fast or slow
  • like its fluttering
  • like its thudding, or pounding.

It is not unusual to feel heart palpitations occasionally and mostly they are harmless. However if youre experiencing them on a regular basis, see your doctor.

The Active Ingredients Of Tai Chi

When Peter Wayne, medical editor of Introduction to Tai Chi from Harvard Medical School, began conducting scientific studies on the health benefits of tai chi, he began noticing that tai chi works in a variety of ways, not just one. Whereas most drugs have a single active ingredient, he observed that tai chi was more like a multidrug combination that uses different components to produce a variety of effects.;

Wayne formulated the idea of the “eight active ingredients” of tai chi, which he and his colleagues now use as a conceptual framework to help evaluate the clinical benefits of tai chi, explore the underlying mechanisms that produce these effects, and shape the way tai chi is taught to participants in clinical trials . While different styles of tai chi emphasize different ingredients, these therapeutic factors are interwoven and synergistic. Here’s a summary of one of the active ingredients of tai chi.

Structural integration. Tai chi looks at the body as an interconnected system, not as a collection of individual parts. As a result, when practicing tai chi, you won’t do one exercise for your biceps and another for your glutes. Instead, tai chi integrates the upper body with the lower body, the right side with the left side, and the extremities with the core.;

To learn more about tai chi, its health benefits, and how to learn its movements, check out Introduction to Tai Chi from Harvard Medical School.

Two Caveats To Keep In Mind

If you notice a change in your resting heart rate but none of the scenarios above seem plausible, there are two other factors that may be playing a part: age and medication.

Resting Heart Rate Increases With AgeMost of the time your RHR can be modified. Unfortunately, as you get older, your RHR tends to increase. To reduce the impact that aging can have on your cardiovascular system, you can help maximize your results by exercising within your target HR zone to help lower your resting heart rate.

Medication Affects Resting Heart RateChanges in your resting heart rate can also result from over-the-counter or prescription medications. Medications to treat asthma, depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder tend to increase your RHR. However, medications prescribed for hypertension and heart conditions typically decrease your resting heart rate.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

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Slow Resting Heart Rates

A slow resting heart rate can mean different things, depending on the circumstances. For example, it sometimes suggests;that a person has a healthier heart;says Dr. Jason Wasfy;at Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center. In certain cases, a lower resting heart rate can mean a higher degree of physical fitness, which is associated with reduced rates of cardiac events like heart attacks.

In other cases, having a slow heart rate could signify something more serious it all depends on your activity level and age. Its normal for the elderly to have a lower than average resting heart rate, for example. So what if your resting heart rate is well below 60 bpm, but youre not an athlete or a senior?

According to the American Heart Association, this could suggest the presence of bradycardia; when a persons heart rate is lower than it should be. Bradycardia doesnt always cause symptoms, but when it does, it can cause lightheadedness, weakness, confusion, and lack of energy when exercising. Having these symptoms in addition to a low heart rate may mean its time to seek medical advice.

Why Is It Important To Get It Checked

Resting Heart rate The daily variation JUSTIN TIMMER

Often an irregular pulse is harmless. However, it’s important to get it checked by a health professional, because sometimes it’s a sign of a heart condition.

The most common kind of heart rhythm condition is atrial fibrillation , which can put you at greater risk of having a stroke. Fortunately, if you have AF, there’s medication you can take to help reduce this stroke risk.

Your doctor can do a simple test called an ECG to further check your irregular pulse.

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You now know that there are many factors that can cause resting heart rate fluctuations. Its important to think about all of these if you observe any resting heart rate changes, as its likely to be a short term change. Its relatively normal if your RHR fluctuates a lot and, for example, you are having a varied sleep pattern, experiencing stress, taking medication, changing your training schedule, or are affected by hot weather.;

There is a wide range of normal when it comes to your RHR so yours fluctuate, it wont often be cause for concern. However, if your RHR is consistently over 100 beats per minute, then you could have tachycardia, which could be caused by a heart rhythm disorder. Alternatively, if youre not a trained athlete and your RHR is below 60 beats per minute and you are dizzy or short of breath, you could have bradycardia. In either of these cases, its important to speak to a doctor so they can look at why your RHR fluctuates.

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Normal Causes Of A Fluctuating Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate is when your heart is doing the least amount of work. That’s measured when you’re sleeping, sitting or lying down and feeling calm and relaxed. Things like your age, sex and physical fitness can affect your resting heart rate.

Plenty of everyday things cause heart rates to fluctuate. You can expect your pulse to change throughout the day as your heart adjusts to different energy needs.

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Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Decreasing

As mentioned above, a low resting heart rate is often a sign that youre in peak physical fitness. However, in some cases, a low RHR could cause you to feel dizzy or exhausted. If youre experiencing these symptoms and are wondering why is my resting heart rate going down, then you should speak to a doctor. Its also good to remember that medications like beta-blockers are designed to slow your pulse down as they block adrenaline. So always be mindful of what prescription drugs you are taking and how they could be affecting your RHR.

Medical Causes Of A Fluctuating Heart Rate

Why is My Resting Heart Rate Low?

Medical issues â many of them easily treated â can also cause a fluctuating pulse, including:

âAnemia or blood loss.â”The blood cells aren’t carrying enough oxygen, so a rise in heart rate compensates for diminished oxygen,” says Dr. Cantillon.âFever or infectionââAn overactive thyroid glandâ will speed up your heart rate. “The thyroid regulates your metabolism, so if it’s too high, your heart might beat faster than normal,” says Dr. Lahiri.âAn underactive thyroidâ can have the opposite effect, often slowing your heart rate.âHaving diabetes, underweight or overweightâ can all make the heart work faster.âSleep apneaââA heart attack or previous heart problemsâ

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How Healthy Is Your Resting Heart Rate

Learn whats normal, whats not, and what could be throwing your resting heart rate out of whack.

Pulse taking is an ancient technique, dating back thousands of years, but these days you’d almost never know it. Long gone are the days of placing two fingers against your neck while watching the clock. Now,;measuring your resting heart rate;is as easy as firing up a smartphone app or saying, “Siri, what’s my heart rate?“;

The ease at which you can detect your resting heart rate — and track it over time — has led to a sort of heart-rate renaissance among non-medical professionals, with everyone from health nuts to;fitness fanatics trying to use it to their advantage. But the wealth of resting heart rate data available literally at your fingertips doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to interpret it.;

Below, a primer that will help get you up to speed before you next doctor’s appointment.;

Read more:;The best iPhone and Apple Watch health devices for checking blood pressure, heart rate and more;| This might be the number-one way to track your fitness

What Is Your Pulse

When your heart beats it pushes blood around your body. This heart beat can be felt as your ‘pulse’ on your wrist or neck.;

Your pulse is measured by counting the number of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart contracts 72 times in one minute, your pulse would be 72 beats per minute . This is also called your heart rate.;

A normal pulse beats in a steady, regular rhythm. However, in some people this rhythm is uneven, or ‘jumps about’. This is known as an irregular pulse.

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For Now Though Stick To What We Know Works

At the end of the day, we don’t yet know for sure if our wearable devices will help detect and curb the spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, keep in mind that your fitness tracker;can help you keep up with your everyday health and wellness during this pandemic which is important for building a strong immune system.

In addition, you can also make sure you’re staying committed to preventive behaviors we do know to be helpful, such as:

How To Measure Heart Rate

Sudden Increased resting heart rate.. Possible early ...

Measuring your heart rate is easy to do if you follow some simple steps. The easiest place to measure your heart rate is on your wrist, just below the base of the thumb. Place your index and middle fingers between the bone and tendon at the base of your thumb. Once you feel your pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds. Once youve counted how many pulses, youll multiply that number by four. This gives you the total amount of times your heart beats in one minute. For example, if your heart beats 18 times in 15 seconds, your heart rate is 72 beats per minute.

Its important to measure your heart rate when youre in a relaxed state. If you take your pulse after any strenuous activity, you wont get an accurate reading. You should wait for one to two hours after exercising to take your resting heart rate, and an hour after consuming caffeine, according to Harvard Health.

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Whats A Normal Heart Rate

A heart rate is a measurement of the number of times the heart muscle beats per minute. Healthy kids and adults will have hearts that beat at different speeds because of their age and body size. If the heart is beating too fast or too slow, this could mean you have an underlying health problem. Your resting heart rate will also allow you to gauge your current heart health.;;;;;;

In general, a lower resting heart rate means the heart is beating less per minute, which likely means its more efficient. Your resting heart rate tells you how fast your heart is beating when youre in a relaxed state, like sitting or laying down. If your resting heart rate is too high, this might mean you have lower physical fitness, or that youre at risk of developing a heart condition.

Knowing what your target heart rate should be for your age can help you recognize if and when your heart rate is abnormal, which may be an indication that its time to go to the doctor.;

Normal heart rate by age
18 and older60-100 bpm

As we get older, the range of whats considered to be a healthy normal resting heart rate will change. ;

The average healthy adult will have a resting heart rate of 60 bpm or higher. Although in clinical practice, the resting heart rate between 60 and 100 bpm is considered to be normal, people with a resting heart rate higher than 80 bpm could have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

RELATED: Heart disease statistics

When One Persons Rate Changes

Although most participants had fairly stable daily resting heart rates, 20 percent of individuals in the study went through at least one week when their resting heart rate fluctuated by 10 bpm or more.

Compared to men, women of childbearing age showed greater variability in their individual resting rates. This difference disappeared by the time men and women reached age 50.

Compared to younger adults, individuals over age 60 showed less variability in their individual resting heart rates.

When someones daily resting heart rate changes over weeks or months, it might indicate changes in their cardiovascular fitness or the development of a chronic medical condition.

For example, a thyroid problem called hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, can cause rapid heart rates, whereas hypothyroidism can cause slower heart rates, Dr. Michael Goyfman, director of clinical cardiology at Northwell Healths Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in Queens, New York, told Healthline.

On the other hand, changes over the course of days might be a sign of an infection, menstrual cycle effects, or other acute triggers.

Conditions such as infections can cause higher resting heart rates, as can stress, anxiety, pain, or other unknown or nonspecific conditions, Goyfman said.

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How Much Does A Resting Pulse Normally Vary

This question asked about using pulse as a measure of fitness. Resting pulse seems like a nice, simple way to do this. But I find that my resting pulse varies by a huge amount, from values as low as 63 per minute to as high as 83. How much does it normally vary based on time of day, posture , or caffeine? If it has this much variation that’s hard to eliminate or account for, then it seems like maybe a different measure of fitness would be more appropriate, such as the time required to run two miles. Or if you do use heart rate, what is a better measure of fitness, the average of a series of measurements, or the lowest?

Heart rate is extremely variable, and can go up or down with environmental factors such as heat or cold, foods containing stimulants like caffeine or depressants such as alcohol, standing up versus lying down/sitting, etc.

The two ways that I usually use to recommend for using pulse as a gauge of fitness and/or overtraining, is to take it every morning as soon as you wake up, and after workouts, take it immediately after the workout and again 3-5 minutes later.

The morning one should stay relatively the same, or even drop as your fitness gets better, and the one post workout should drop dramatically within a few minutes. If your morning pulse rate starts going up, or your post exercise rate stays elevated, then you have some factors influencing the rate. This could be dehydration, fatigue, overtraining, life stress, any number of factors.

Average Resting Heart Rate Chart For Men & Women

How To Use Your Resting Heart Rate To Track Your Health

What is a good resting heart rate by age and gender? The graphic below depicts the average resting heart rate by age for male and female WHOOP members between 20 and 50 years old.

the average resting heart rate for men wearing WHOOP is 55.2 bpm, and for women its 58.8 bpm.

Across all ages, the average resting heart rate for women wearing WHOOP is 58.8 bpm, and for men its 55.2 bpm.

Given that our members tend to be athletes and/or people who are particularly interested in monitoring their health and well-being, its no surprise that the normal resting heart rate for men and women on WHOOP is below what the AMA considers average.

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Things Your Resting Heart Rate Can Tell You About Your Health

Your resting heart rate is a number you may not think about very often. But what if I told you its one of the most important numbers you should know. Not only can your resting heart rate be used to track your fitness level and target your workouts, but it can also alert you to a variety of potential health issues. So get to know your resting heart rateand whats normal for youthrough the Fitbit app and then learn how it can help inform your health.

Where Is It And What Is A Normal Heart Rate

The best places to find your pulse are the:

  • wrists
  • side of your neck
  • top of the foot

To get the most accurate reading, put your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds.

Your resting heart rate is the heart pumping the lowest amount of blood you need because youre not exercising. If youre sitting or lying and youre calm, relaxed and arent ill, your heart rate is normally between 60 ;and 100 .

But a heart rate lower than 60 doesnt;necessarily signal a medical problem. It could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. A lower heart rate is also common for people who get a lot of physical activity or are very athletic. Active people often have a lower resting heart rate because their heart muscle is in better condition and doesnt need to work as hard to maintain a steady beat. A low or moderate amount of physical activity doesnt usually change the resting pulse much.;

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Why Is My Heart Beating So Fast?

Why Is My Heart Beating So Fast? January 25, 2021. Roland A. Filart, MD Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology. The thump-thump-thump of your heartbeat is a quiet, reassuring sensation that is as natural as breathing. But what if that steady rhythm starts pounding too fast, flutters or even becomes too slow? If this happens without an obvious cause — such as exertion or stress — you may be ...

The thump-thump-thump of your heartbeat is a quiet, reassuring sensation that is as natural as breathing. But what if that steady rhythm starts pounding too fast, flutters or even becomes too slow?

If this happens without an obvious cause — such as exertion or stress — you may be experiencing an arrythmia, which is an abnormal rhythm of your heartbeat. While this can be nonthreatening, it can lead to more serious health problems and even emergency situations.

While a few types of arrhythmias can be hereditary, they typically are set off by a trigger, such as exercise or anxiety. But dehydration, hormone imbalances or blood sugar levels that are too high or low also can cause these irregular heartbeats. Several risk factors can make you more susceptible to arrhythmias, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, thyroid issues and even heavy caffeine or nicotine use.

What It Feels Like 

Along with a fluttering or racing of your heartbeat — or even an irregular or “skipped beat” — those with an arrhythmia may feel:

  • Fatigue or weakness

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Fainting or near-fainting

  • Shortness of breath and anxiety

  • Chest pain or pressure

When to Seek Medical Care

Because the symptoms of an arrhythmia can be similar to more serious health complications, be sure to see your doctor. Even though an arrhythmia can be harmless, if left unchecked and untreated, the reduced or blocked blood flow can lead to significant complications affecting your heart and brain. Studies have linked cognitive issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to a history of arrhythmias, which also can cause stroke, cardiac arrest or heart failure.

Preventable and Treatable

As with many illnesses, living a healthy lifestyle is the best step toward prevention. Regular exercise and a balanced diet low in processed foods and sugar — but high in vegetables and lean proteins — will ward off heart disease, which is often a precursor to arrhythmias. Treatment options include reducing caffeine, prescribed medicines or medical procedures such as cardiac ablation. 

Should you find your heart beating to a new rhythm, don’t panic — anxiety can make your condition worse. Simply give your doctor a call. You’ll be back in tune in no time.

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Why Is My Heart Racing? 10 Surprising Reasons

06-12-2017 · Plenty of unexpected things can cause your heart rate to go up. Here are some of the most likely reasons your heart is racing.


When you notice your heart racing seemingly out of nowhere, you probably find yourself wondering, “Wait, is something wrong?” But try not to worry that something drastic is happening, if you can help it. Plenty of things can cause your heart to pick up the pace, and many of them are pretty mundane. And before you ask, it’s almost definitely not a heart attack, which is most likely to present with symptoms like pain in your jaw, neck, back, arms, or shoulders, discomfort or pain in your chest, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. A racing heart isn’t one of the hallmark symptoms, for what it’s worth.

To understand why certain things cause our hearts to kick into overdrive, it’s important to understand how this all-important organ functions. As you read this, your heart is performing an incredible balancing act that’s crucial to keeping you alive and healthy. “The heart beats because of electricity,” Shephal Doshi, M.D., director of cardiac electrophysiology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. No, not the type that keeps your lights on, although that would be interesting. Instead, these are electrical impulses from a group of cells in your heart’s right atrium (chamber) that act like your own internal pacemaker. These cells, known as your sinoatrial (SA) node, tell your heart when and how to beat in order to send oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.

At rest, it’s normal for your heart to respond to these signals by beating anywhere from 60 to 100 times per minute. Anything higher than that is known as tachycardia, the fancy way of describing the sensation that your heart is galloping a mile a minute. Which is the whole reason why you’re reading this article! So let’s talk about the most likely causes behind your racing heart.

1. You’re stressed.

Let’s be real, with everything going on with the new coronavirus, there’s an extremely good chance that you’re stressed right now. When you encounter something stressful, your sympathetic nervous system and adrenal glands release a surge of norepinephrine, also known as adrenaline, Camille Frazier-Mills, M.D., a cardiologist at Duke Electrophysiology Clinic, tells SELF. Receptors in your heart respond to these triggers and can make your heart rate pick up.

If you can’t immediately solve whatever’s making you stressed (which is unfortunately the case with the literal pandemic happening right now), try deep breathing to at least help you feel better in the moment. The Mayo Clinic suggests taking deep breaths in through your nose so that you feel your stomach rise, not your chest, and exhaling through your nose as well. Focus on your breath and the rise and fall of your abdomen throughout.

2. You’ve had a lot of caffeine.

While most people can handle a certain level of caffeine just fine, overdoing it can make your heart speed up. “A bunch of patients come to see me with an elevated heart rate, then they tell me they drink multiple highly caffeinated beverages daily,” Dr. Mills-Frazier says. “They’re revving themselves up.” This is most likely to happen if you’ve had too much caffeine, but it could also happen in response to small amounts if you’re just sensitive to this stimulant.

Heart palpitations and ectopic beats

18-10-2017 · antihistamines, such as terfenadine. antibiotics, such as clarithromycin and erythromycin. antidepressants, such as citalopram and escitalopram. antifungal medicines, such as itraconazole. Speak to a GP if you think a medicine may be causing your heart palpitations.


Heart palpitations are heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.

Your heart may feel like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, often for just a few seconds or minutes. You may also feel these sensations in your throat or neck.

Palpitations may seem alarming, but in most cases they're harmless and are not a sign of a serious problem.

Sometimes you may feel an extra or missed beat. These are known as ectopic beats and are also usually nothing to worry about.

Causes of heart palpitations include:

  • lifestyle triggers
  • emotions and psychological triggers
  • medicines
  • hormone changes
  • heart rhythm problems
  • heart conditions
  • other medical conditions

Lifestyle triggers

Common triggers of heart palpitations include:

In these cases, the palpitations should go away on their own. Avoiding these triggers may help stop them from coming back.

Emotional or psychological triggers

Heart palpitations are also often caused by emotions or psychological issues, such as:

  • excitement or nervousness
  • stress or anxiety
  • panic attacks – an overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear, accompanied by feeling sick, sweating, trembling and palpitations

Doing breathing exercises and learning how to deal with a panic attack may help if you're feeling stressed, anxious or panicked.


Palpitations can occasionally be triggered by some medicines, including:

Speak to a GP if you think a medicine may be causing your heart palpitations. But do not stop taking a prescribed treatment without first getting medical advice.

Hormone changes

Heart palpitations in women can sometimes be the result of hormonal changes that happen during:

  • periods
  • pregnancy
  • the menopause 

In these cases, the palpitations are usually temporary and not a cause for concern.

Heart rhythm problems

Palpitations are sometimes caused by a problem with the heart rhythm (arrhythmia), such as:

  • atrial fibrillation – this is the most common type, where the heart beats irregularly and faster than normal
  • atrial flutter – a fast and irregular heartbeat
  • supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) – abnormally fast heart rate
  • ventricular tachycardia – a more serious condition where the regular heartbeat is typically fast. It can be associated with dizziness or blackouts

Heart conditions

Some palpitations may be associated with other types of heart conditions, such as:

Some of these conditions can be serious and often require treatment.

Other medical conditions

Other conditions that can cause heart palpitations include:

You do not usually need to see a GP if the palpitations pass quickly and only happen occasionally. They're unlikely to be caused by a serious problem and probably will not need treatment.

But it's a good idea to see a GP if:

  • the palpitations last a long time, do not improve or get worse
  • you have a history of heart problems
  • you're concerned about the palpitations

To help find the cause, a GP may:

If you cannot have an ECG at the GP surgery or the GP wants to arrange heart monitoring over a longer time period, you may be referred for tests at a local hospital.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E if you have heart palpitations and any of the following symptoms:

  • severe shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • dizziness or light-headedness
  • fainting or blackouts

These symptoms could indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening heart problem that should be checked by a doctor straight away.

Page last reviewed: 24 October 2019
Next review due: 24 October 2022

Heart Beating Hard but Not Fast

14-12-2017 · A part of the stress response modifications cause the heart to beat stronger in order to pump blood to the numerous parts of the body needed for emergency situation preparedness.


Heart beating hard but not fast also known as Pounding Heart. The pounding heart anxiety symptom can come and go seldom, occur regularly, or continue indefinitely. For example, you may see your heart is pounding once and a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel everything the time.

How to Describe the Condition?

Pounding heart, heart beating too hard:

  • Your heart feels and sounds as though it is pounding unusually hard in your chest. You end up being aware of your heart’s action and you fear there might be an issue with it
  • You might also fear that your heart could burst or suddenly stop beating because it is beating or pounding uncommonly hard.
  • This symptom can be accompanied with other symptoms, such as racing heart or quick heart rate, “avoided beats,” heart “flutters,” chest pressure, or shooting pains in the chest.

The pounding heart anxiety symptom might precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other stress and anxiety experiences and symptoms, or take place by itself.

The pounding heart anxiety symptom can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of anxiousness, stress and anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or take place ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent factor.

The pounding heart stress and anxiety symptom can vary in strength from minor, to moderate, to severe. It can likewise be available in waves, where it’s strong one minute and eases off the next.

Heart beating hard but not fast related stress and anxiety symptom can change from day to day, and/or from moment to minute.

All the above combinations and variations are common.

This pounding heart symptom is typically more visible when attempting to rest, relax, or go to sleep.


Stress and anxiety causes the body to produce the stress action (also called the battle or flight reaction). The stress response secretes stress hormonal agents, which are stimulants, into the blood stream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional modifications that help the body when in real risk.

What Causes Heart Beating Hard but Not Fast?

A part of the stress response modifications cause the heart to beat stronger in order to pump blood to the numerous parts of the body needed for emergency situation preparedness. When stress responses take place occasionally, the body can recover reasonably rapidly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response causes. When stress reactions happen too frequently and/or significantly, nevertheless, the body has a harder time recuperating, which can result in the body staying in a semi hyperstimulated state, considering that stress hormonal agents are stimulants. A body that ends up being stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar feelings and symptoms to that of an active stress reaction. Feeling that your heart is pounding abnormally hard in your chest is an example of the types of symptoms you can experience when the body becomes extremely stressed out.

What You Can Do?

When this pounding heart feeling is brought on by uncertain behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, soothing yourself down will bring an end to the stress reaction and its modifications. As your body recuperates from the active stress action, this feeling should go away and you need to go back to your normal self. Remember that it can use up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a significant stress reaction. But this is normal and should not be a cause for issue. The majority of people experience this when distressed or extremely worried.

When this feeling is caused by relentless stress, it might take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where this symptom is gotten rid of.

However, when the body has totally recovered, this sensation will entirely subside. Therefore, this symptom needn’t be a cause for concern and it isn’t dangerous, but merely an indication that your body is extremely stressed out.

You can accelerate the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing unwinded breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this sensation. Sure, it can be disturbing and even irritating. However again, when your body has actually recuperated from the stress reaction and/or sustained stress, this symptom will totally vanish.

Why do I feel heart palpitations while sitting down ...

23-03-2020 · But they may get worse when sitting or lying down. 9. Exercising- exercising can cause heart palpitations when sitting down. This are some of the most common causes of sitting down heart palpitations, but there are far more causes, such as lack of sleep, post-operation state, high blood pressure, hormone changes, mitral valve affections etc.


A heart palpitation is the unpleasant feeling of your heart beating. They may be noticed inside the chest, or in the throat very commonly. It may occur in people with or without heart problems.

Although not very commonly, many people experience heart palpitations when sitting down, or lying down, which are pretty much the same thing and can be triggered by the same causes.

Are you experiencing heart palpitations when sitting? Ask our doctor about the causes!

The causes sitting heart palpitations are as following:

1.   Heart diseases- Many people with heart problems suffer from sitting down heart palpitations.

This is because, while sitting down, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood throughout the body, because when sitting down, there is no gravity to help blood travel in the distant tissues of the body, as it is when one is standing up.

2.   Dehydration- dehydration is a very common cause of heart palpitations. When being dehydrated, the outflow of the heart lessens, and so it has to work harder and faster in order to properly supply the tissues.

3.   Stress, anxiety, and chronic fatigue- most sitting down heart palpitations are caused by stress, anxiety or fatigue. They tend to get worse if stressing about them.

4.   Eating too much- eating large meals can cause palpitations when sitting down or when resting.

5.   Anemia- Anemia can cause heart palpitations when sitting down, due to the increased heart rate which is a compensatory mechanism to balance the oxygenation in the tissues, because in anemia due to hemoglobin problems, there is a lack of oxygenation in the tissues.

6.   Orthostatic hypertension- is a common cause of heart palpitations. It commonly happens when changing positions, for example when standing up when being sited down. It is often accompanied by blurred vision and noise in ears.

7.   Poor circulation- it causes the decrease in the heart outflow, and as a result, the heart has to work faster in order to compensate this lack of volume circulation.

8.   Caffeine, nicotine, tobacco- the intake of this ingredients can cause heart palpitations regardless of the body position. But they may get worse when sitting or lying down.

9.   Exercising- exercising can cause heart palpitations when sitting down

This are some of the most common causes of sitting down heart palpitations, but there are far more causes, such as lack of sleep, post-operation state, high blood pressure, hormone changes, mitral valve affections etc.

What is the mechanism?

Sitting down heart palpitations can be caused by the following mechanisms:

1.   The poor blood circulation- if there is a decrease in the blood volume, this means less blood flowing to the heart. To compensate this lack in the blood volume, the heart beats faster, in an attempt to neutralize the lack of blood volume with the increased heart rate.

In a person that is sitting down, the heart tends to work harder because there is no gravity to help her pump the blood in the distant tissues of the body. This increase in the heart rate can be perceived as palpitations.

2.   An abnormality in the two nerves that stimulate the heart. In some cases, such as anxiety or stress, the sympathetic nerve is more activated that vagus nerve. This results in increased heart rate and palpitations.

How to overcome?

Treating sitting down heart palpitations depend on the underlying. In a case of having a heart affection, treating it would result also in the treatment of the palpitations.

Some simple and effective techniques in treating and improving sitting heart palpitations are:

1.   Avoiding stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, drugs etc.

2.   Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration

3.   Not eating large meals

In the case of anxiety, stress or fatigue, exercising relaxing techniques such as yoga, breathing therapies, aromatherapy etc.

Get helped by our medical team to overcome heart palpitations when sitting! Click here!

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Why Does My Heart Beat Fast when Trying to Fall Asleep ...

16-02-2018 · Why Does My Heart Beat Fast when Trying to Fall Asleep? ... This way, by the time you lie down to go to sleep, your anxiety levels will be reduced, and your heart should not be beating so fast anymore due to anxiety. Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to ...


It’s not always increased awareness that makes you realize that your heart is beating pretty fast as you lie in bed to go to sleep at night.

Though for some people, this explanation holds.

“It may be an increased awareness of your body’s function (you are just lying there focusing on yourself without distractions),” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Besser continues, “Two, because you are just lying there you may start to think about your day (and the stresses). Obviously that my raise your pulse.

“Lastly, when you lay down your blood pressure and other bodily functions adjust to your new position — that could also cause a transient increase in pulse.”

If you know for a fact that your heart beats faster after lying down at bedtime – because you’ve taken or felt your pulse while awake at night and then taken or felt it again after getting in bed – this is clearly not an issue of increased awareness.

Keep in mind that simply taking or feeling your pulse while in bed can induce anxiety that makes your heart beat faster.

You may want to wear a pulse oximeter that records heart rate while you’re up and about for a few hours before bedtime, and then keep it on your finger after getting in bed and falling asleep.

Next time you awaken, remove it. It will have retained a recording of the data.

The only caveat is that sometimes these devices are tricky as far as retrieving the data.

But if you can figure it out, you’ll note that once you fall asleep, your heart rate will be slower than it is at any point of the day.

You’ll also be able to see if your heart rate truly does soar after you lie down.

Note the time you get into bed, because the oximeter data will have a timeline to match that up against.

Shifting around in bed, struggling to find a good position with the blankets and pillows, etc., will raise heart rate.

But once you’re lying still, the oximeter will record what your pulse is, as well, and you can look at the objective data after you upload it to your computer.

If you truly had a heart problem that was causing an accelerated pulse, this would happen while you were up and about.

A heart problem doesn’t wait until you’ve just gotten into bed to start speeding up your pulse, especially since lying down reduces your body’s energy needs – save for that transient adjustment to your new position that Dr. Besser pointed out or slugging the pillows.

Lying down to go to sleep may also be a conditioned stimulus to anxiety – thinking about your day, as Dr. Besser also pointed out.

Or, it may be the next day that you’re thinking about that gets your heart beating faster than usual.


• A full cardiac workup that comes out negative for any problems will really put your mind at ease.


• However, you may still find your heart beats fast the moment you lie down for sleep – due to anxiety about the issue despite normal test results, and/or anxiety about your life.

• Before going to bed, get ready for the next day as much as possible.

• Lay out next day’s clothes.

• Prepare next day’s breakfast as much as you can, such as cracking and mixing the eggs and seasoning them, then placing them in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Set out the pan and spatula, plates and silverware, etc.

• Prepare next day’s lunch.

• Set snail mail you want to send at your front door so you won’t forget it.

• Write out a to-do list of tasks you must get done the next day.

This way, by the time you lie down to go to sleep, your anxiety levels will be reduced, and your heart should not be beating so fast anymore due to anxiety.

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/Supawadee56 beating fast
Supraventricular tachycardia - Illnesses & conditions ...

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a heart condition featuring episodes of an abnormally fast heart rate. The heart will suddenly start racing, then stop racing or slow down abruptly. Episodes can last for seconds, minutes, hours or (in rare cases) days. They may occur regularly, several times a day, or very infrequently, once or twice a year.

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a heart condition featuring episodes of an abnormally fast heart rate.

The heart will suddenly start racing, then stop racing or slow down abruptly.

Episodes can last for seconds, minutes, hours or (in rare cases) days. They may occur regularly, several times a day, or very infrequently, once or twice a year.

The heart rate may be as high as 250 beats per minute, but is usually between 140 and 180 (a normal heartbeat should be 60-100 beats per minute at rest).

What it means

  • 'Supraventricular' means that the problem occurs in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart.
  • 'Tachycardia' means an abnormally rapid heart rhythm. 

What happens

When the heart beats normally, its muscular walls contract (tighten and squeeze) to force blood out and around the body. They then relax, so the heart can fill with blood again. This process is repeated for every heartbeat.

In SVT, the heart muscle is contracting so fast that it cannot relax between contractions. This reduces the amount of blood being pumped around the body, which can make you feel dizzy and short of breath.

You usually feel heart palpitations (noticeable heartbeats) and a fast pulse. 

Why it happens

SVT is caused by abnormal electrical impulses that start suddenly in the upper chambers of your heart (the atria). These impulses override your heart's natural rhythm.

It is often a short circuit in the electrical system of your heart that causes these spontaneous impulses. The short circuit causes an electrical signal to travel continuously around in a circle. Each time the signal completes the circuit, the impulse spreads out to the rest of your heart, forcing it to beat rapidly.

SVT attacks often happen for no obvious reason. However, they may be triggered by a change in posture, exertion, emotional upset, coffee or alcohol.

Who is affected

SVT can occur in anyone at any age, but it often occurs for the first time in children or young adults.


In the vast majority of cases, attacks of SVT are harmless, do not last long and settle on their own without treatment.

If necessary, SVT can be treated with drugs that correct the abnormal heart rate. It can also be permanently treated with a very effective surgical procedure called catheter ablation, which interrupts the abnormal electrical circuits.

Rapid Heartbeat and Anxiety

Slow your breathing significantly and try not to force bigger breaths. This can help ease hyperventilation. Wait – Once you’ve triggered adrenaline in your bloodstream, it doesn’t go away that easily. You do have to wait it out. Find yourself a quiet spot, relax, close your eyes, and let yourself calm down as best you can. For those with anxiety, this is easier said than done. But it will at least give you a …

Rapid Heartbeat and Anxiety

One of the greatest challenges facing those that have anxiety is that anxiety feeds itself. For example, if you are afraid of social situations because you are worried about being embarrassed, and then you go out to a public place, stumble over your words, and embarrass yourself, you’ll be even more likely to experience anxiety the next time you decide to go out.

The symptoms of anxiety are often able to do the same thing. That is especially the case with a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety can make your heartbeat speed up, and when it does, it can be a scary event that creates even more anxiety.

How Anxiety Causes Rapid Heartbeat

Anxiety is the activation of the fight or flight system. It is reacting as though it is about to experience a dangerous situation. If you were to run or fight, you would need your heartbeat to speed up so that blood could flow quickly to your muscles so that you can run for your life or punch your attacker in the nose.

But there is no danger.

So all you’re left with is a pounding, fast heartbeat that you are unable to slow down. The fight or flight system is linked to a hormone called adrenaline, which triggers all of the different responses your body has to dangerous situations. The adrenaline is moving through your veins, keeping your heart rate fast, and leading to the unease you feel about it.

In addition, because there is no danger, you are likely well aware of how fast your heart is going. For many, that creates more anxiety, leading to a sustained rapid heart rate. The technical term for this is Sinus Tachycardia.

Yet that’s not even the only link between anxiety and rapid heartbeat.

  • Fast heartbeat may be even worse if you have panic attacks. Both anxiety and panic attacks cause shallow, slower breathing (also caused by adrenaline, as shallow breathing would be useful if you were running away from dangerous). This, in turn, can lead to hyperventilation. When you hyperventilate, your body has too much oxygen and your blood slows down. This forces your heart to push harder and faster. This is known as Supraventricular Tachycardia.
  • Anxiety makes you more aware of how you feel. This is known as “hypersensitivity.” When you are more aware of how you feel, it can often feel worse for you than the same experience with someone that is not as aware. Thus, anxiety can make your heartbeat feel more rapid than it is.
  • Finally, anxiety and stress seem to cause an increased frequency of “skipped beats.” These are not dangerous, but when the heart skips a beat it triggers heart palpitations which cause a racing heartbeat. They can be especially scary for those with anxiety, and – as is often the case – they can sometimes create more anxiety.

These are some of the many links between anxiety and rapid heartbeat. They also explain yet another reason that anxiety feeds itself. Your heart is responsible for your life. It is perfectly normal to feel more anxiety when it seems like something is going wrong with your heart.

Controlling Rapid Heartbeat from Anxiety

Because rapid heartbeat is linked to anxiety, the best way to control it is to reduce your anxiety. But for those looking for specific tips to address this one symptom, there are different strategies and techniques you can try:

  • Breathe Slower – Hyperventilation makes you feel like you are not getting enough oxygen, which causes you to yawn or try to force deeper breaths. The problem is, the opposite is true. You are breathing too fast, and your body doesn’t have time to make more carbon dioxide which your blood needs. Slow your breathing significantly and try not to force bigger breaths. This can help ease hyperventilation.
  • Wait – Once you’ve triggered adrenaline in your bloodstream, it doesn’t go away that easily. You do have to wait it out. Find yourself a quiet spot, relax, close your eyes, and let yourself calm down as best you can. For those with anxiety, this is easier said than done. But it will at least give you a space you can rest so that you can wait for your adrenaline to reduce. If you’ve learned any relaxation exercises, that would be the time to use them.
  • Understand Rapid Heartbeat – If you haven’t been to the doctor for a while, it doesn’t hurt to go to ease your mind. But it’s good to remember that heart issues do not pop up over night. If your doctor doesn’t see any, your likelihood of having one is low. Spend some time understanding the science of racing heartbeats. Knowledge can be powerful, and a thorough understanding of why a rapid heartbeat occurs can help put your mind at ease.

A rapid heartbeat is, unfortunately, one of those symptoms of anxiety that is not easily stopped. Anxiety is the fight or flight system, and the fight or flight system releases adrenaline which races your heart.

Instead, what you should try to do is focus on preventing rapid heartbeat from creating more anxiety for you. You can do this by learning to breathe during times of anxiousness, waiting out the rapid heartbeat in a comfortable place, and gaining a greater level of understanding about how it occurred.

It may not stop the way your heart beats, but it will give you a chance to prevent rapid heartbeat – and other anxiety symptoms – from feeding on themselves and causing more anxiety to occur.

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Why Am I Waking Up With A Fast Heart Rate?

07-12-2018 · Contents of ArticleWhat Kinds Of Palpitations Might I Be Feeling?So Why Am… Brand vs. Brand. Comparisons. Casper vs… Casper vs. Ghostbed; Casper vs. Helix


You wake up in the night, heart pounding. You can feel it rattling your chest, and you can’t imagine what could be causing it all to happen. You’re just lying there in bed, no exercise, no heavy exertion. That pounding heart is a worrying condition, and you need to know what’s going on.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your heart is racing during the night and what that might mean for you.

What Kinds Of Palpitations Might I Be Feeling?

Medical science recognizes a few different types of arrhythmias but here are the most common:

  • Supraventricular tachycardia: Originates above the lower heart chambers and can cause the heart to beat quickly. You could feel dizzy and have the sensation of a “racing” heart.
  • Atrial Fibrillation: The most common type and may cause blockages later on. It causes a rapid, irregular heartbeat along with possible shortness of breath and chest pains.
  • Ventricular Tachycardia: Originates in the lower heart chambers and may indicate a structural issue within the heart. It could cause loss of consciousness or possibly cardiac arrest.

In general, many cases of a racing heart have nothing to do with genetics or defects in the heart chambers. Lots of external factors can trigger a pounding heart, causing you to feel it strongest when you’re lying still with no distractions.

So Why Am I Waking Up With A Fast Heart Rate?

It’s not just exercise that can send your heart racing. Critical physiological factors can cause your heart to race as well, and not all are harmless. Getting to the bottom of what it’s happening is the first step to making it stop.


Are you feeling the stress of everyday life? Are things making you feel like you’re under a tremendous strain?

Your worries don’t stop when you lay your head down. If you’re waking up with a pounding heart and no other symptoms, it’s a good sign you’ve got way too much on your plate. Stress causes hormones to run through your body and puts you in a constant fight or flight mode. Your body doesn’t care what your “danger” is. It only cares about keeping you safe. Once those hormones have started, that anxiety can continue well into the night without you realizing what’s happening.

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Be honest. Are you drinking too much caffeine? You know that caffeine can elevate your heart rate and keep your body in a fight or flight response. The same chemicals that give you a quick pick me up in the morning may work against you when present in too great of an amount.

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it may not take that much to feel the same effect. Depending on your biology, it could be challenging to process even small amounts of caffeine, so watch the effects carefully.


Consuming large amounts of sugar before laying down can spike your blood sugar levels and cause your heart to race. As your body tries to digest these sugars, heart palpitations are likely. Even things as innocent as cereal for a snack can cause those same blood sugar spikes and keep you from fully resting.


Alcohol is processed much the same way as sugar. It’s dehydrating and causes blood sugar spikes that keep you from sleeping peacefully. When you drink heavily, whether just before bed or not, it’s a serious detriment to your peaceful sleep.

As your body processes the sugars from the alcohol, it can cause arrhythmias. If you’re drinking because you’re stressed and wanting to calm down, it may even make things worse for you in the long term. You could find it easier to go to sleep, but much much harder to stay that way.


Medication can be the cause of some heart issues. When you begin taking a new medication, check the side effects to see if heart issues could be present. It’s such a common side effect that doctors will often ask if you’re taking medications when you’re experiencing heart issues.

Sleep Apnea

You may not even realize you suffer from Sleep Apnea, but one sign of the condition is a pounding chest in the morning. Sleep Apnea puts your body under constant stress that causes you to develop a condition called atrial fibrillation or a quickening of the heartbeat. It can happen at any time during the day, but it’s most common in the morning.

You may not think to get checked for Sleep Apnea, but it can be a vital part of your diagnosis if you’ve ruled out every other possibility.

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Thyroid Issues

If you suffer from hyperthyroidism, your body produces too much of a hormone called thyroxine. It speeds up your metabolism, which can cause irregular or rapid heartbeat. You may not notice as much during the day, but at night when you’re still, it can be a lot more noticeable. Other symptoms include sudden weight loss and an unusually strong appetite. All seemingly positive things, but in reality, the long-term effects of hypothyroidism are dangerous.


If your blood doesn’t have sufficient oxygen, your heart has to work harder to supply more blood so that the body doesn’t go into shock. More blood may mean more oxygen, but it also spells a racing, pounding heart. Anemia occurs when you don’t have enough blood cells or hemoglobin within the blood, and other symptoms could be fatigue, dizziness, and pale skin. Headaches are also common.

What Do I Do About It?

For many of the issues above, the answer is merely cutting out the trigger. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are stimulants, so carefully controlling the amount that you ingest, especially as the hours tick closer to bedtime, can be the solution.

For mental conditions, helping your mind to relax and slow down can help reduce the occurrences of a racing heart. Mindfulness training, or simply taking a day off work could help, as well as cutting out electronics and not working right before bedtime. Using calming scents to help relax and drinking (noncaffeinated) tea may help soothe your mind and subsequently your body into a more relaxed state of sleep.

Physical factors can be more difficult because you’ll need a diagnosis before knowing what to do. Treating the underlying physical cause may help alleviate the pounding heart, but you won’t know until your condition is under control. If your heart is still racing, you may have to explore other factors.

How Do I Get A Diagnosis?

Depending on the underlying cause, it may not be a deathly diagnosis right away. It’s essential, however, to distinguish between stress or other external triggers and an underlying heart condition. If you are experiencing a racing heart regularly when you wake up, cut out the external triggers. If a week passes, and you don’t feel any changes, it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Since your palpitations haven’t eased with the removal of known environmental triggers, your doctor will want to understand the basic structure of your heart as well as run tests for related conditions that could cause your heart to race. These may include blood tests to check for things like anemia or sleep tests for conditions such as Sleep Apnea.

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You may also have an electrocardiogram to record your heart rhythms for 24 to 48 hours. It consists of small electrodes attached to your chest that sends signals to a box you can carry in your pocket or attach to a waistband. It records your heartbeat, giving your doctor a better idea of what your palpitations are like.

Is It Dangerous?

Long-term heart issues can cause stress on the heart itself, paving the way for high blood pressure, blood clots, or other dangerous conditions. When your heart is overworked, it weakens, causing a vicious cycle that may lead to chambers shutting down. You should never ignore heart symptoms.

What Happens Next?

If your heart pounding is caused by external triggers, lifestyle changes may be all you need to get back to feeling normal. Removing caffeine and sugar. Drinking fewer drinks or not at all. Calming exercises to help quiet your stress and taking steps to ensure quality sleep. Your doctor may also recommend that you add physical activity to strengthen your heart and switch medications that don’t have the same effect as your current medication.

If your condition is more significant, your doctor may prescribe a medication to help regulate the heart. Conditions like anemia sometimes require more than just lifestyle changes as well. Beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are often prescribed to help regulate the heart in the face of underlying conditions.

In the most severe case, surgery may be required to remove blockages causing your heart to work harder or to clear possible arterial issues. After your surgery, it’s vital that you follow the treatment plan your doctor has in place to prevent further problems.

A Pounding Heart Isn’t The End

Most cases of pounding hearts are simple lifestyle factors that can change. Getting your heart checked out and following the plan will help get you feeling like your usual self and sleeping without your chest feeling like it’s going to break. Put those palpitations behind you and get back to your life.

Why is my heart beating so fast? Is a high heart rate ...

17-12-2020 · Is a high heart rate dangerous? While a fast HR is usually harmless, since it is a natural response to exercise or increase in temperature or humidity, it can indicate something serious if it is ...


A racing heartbeat can be overwhelming and scary, especially if this isn’t a normal sensation for you. If your heart is beating really fast, you may need to get it checked out. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Manav Bhushan, Co Founder of Fourth Frontier to find out what a fast heartbeat means.

Don’t panic, a fast heartbeat or fast heart rate is normal in certain circumstances.

Dr Bhushan said: “ A person may have a high Heart Rate for a number of reasons.

“Heart rate increases as a result of exercise at a high intensity, or high temperature or humidity, or dehydration, or even intake of caffeine.”

The heart rate is much slower when you are sleeping or relaxing.

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Why is my heart beating so fast:

Why is my heart beating so fast: A fast heart beat is probably nothing to worry about (Image: Getty)

Why is my heart beating so fast:

Why is my heart beating so fast: Exercise can cause your pulse to rise (Image: Getty)

Why is my heart beating so fast:

Why is my heart beating so fast: Check your pulse and calculate your heart rate (Image: Getty)

To get your resting heart rate, you need to have been resting for at least 5 minutes before checking your pulse.

Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100bpm- this is considered normal.

However, the fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be.

That’s why it isn’t uncommon for athletes to have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm or lower - this isn’t unhealthy.

If you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, you should see a GP.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it could mean that this rate is normal for you.

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Why is my heart beating so fast:

Why is my heart beating so fast: Breathing rate is a better measure (Image: Getty)

While a fast HR is usually harmless, since it is a natural response to exercise or increase in temperature or humidity, it can indicate something serious if it is also accompanied by abnormal changes in your ECG, Dr Bhushan said.

He explained: “A faster than normal HR should be checked out if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as discomfort in the chest or palpitations or dizziness.

“The best way of determining whether the high HR indicates anything serious is to get a quick ECG scan or a continuous ECG recording, which can tell you whether the electrical functioning of your heart is normal or not.”