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I can feel my heart beating in my chest when lying down

I can feel my heart beating in my chest when lying down

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    Feeling as if your heart beats fast when lying down is commonly referred to as heart palpitations. However, many people experience heart palpitations, and it is not considered a serious issue. 

    Why does my heart beat fast when I lay down?

    Heart palpitations refer to a fluttery feeling in the heart when you lay down. It can also be compared to the feeling of a pounding heart or heart racing when lying down. People can experience heart palpitations at any time and due to any reason. 

    What should you know about heart palpitations when lying down? Often, when people lay down at night to sleep, they start feeling like their heart is beating faster than usual. But did you know palpitations can be caused by something as nominal as changing the body position? While lying down, your stomach and chest cavity are compressed together. It puts pressure on the heart and, as a result, increases blood circulation. So you can fix the palpitations by again changing the position. 

    When you lay on the left side of your body, the vagus nerve is activated, which can cause heart palpitations. The vagus nerve stretches from the brain to the abdomen and controls the heart rate. Therefore, when you lay on the left side, the vagus nerve is stimulated, and it sends unusual electric signals to the heart, resulting in heart palpitations when lying down. Heart palpitation is usually a harmless reaction of the body. However, if you are worried or disturbed by it, you can change your position or avoid lying on the left side of your body. 

    What else can lead to heart palpitation when lying down?

    Rarely, faster heartbeats can be a result of another health issue. For example, stress, anxiety, dehydration, low potassium, low blood sugar, caffeine, hormones and specific prescribed medications can cause rapid heartbeats. Anaemia and hyperthyroidism are other conditions that can lead to heart palpitations. 

    If you look closely, most of the conditions mentioned above are treatable by simple changes in your lifestyle. You can try the following-

    • Say no to caffeine
    • Quit smoking
    • Try deep breathing and medicines to deal with stress and anxiety.
    • Drink ample amount of water to avoid dehydration
    • Eat a wholesome diet, including fruits and vegetables.
    • Do not skip meals 
    • If you have an ongoing issue of heart palpitation, avoid any drugs and medicines that can make it worse. However, consult with your doctor first. 

    Sometimes, only a doctor can help you diagnose and treat the cause of heart palpitation. However, if you have already explored these causes and tried changing your lifestyle to no avail, then it is time to consult with your doctor. Make sure to ask your doctor, ‘I can feel my heart beating in my chest when lying down even after altering my lifestyle; why?’.  

    Heart palpitations when lying down might point at some severe condition. The cause can be a complicated underlying condition that needs more testing to be diagnosed. Consider, for example, arrhythmia, which is a symptom of heart disease that can cause rapid heartbeats. Mostly, arrhythmia is harmless and rarely causes other symptoms. If you are concerned about your heart, it is best to consult with a cardiologist. 

    Having a fast heartbeat might as well point at other serious heart defects or even a cardiac arrest. It can also signify sinus tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions, ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. The conditions mentioned are severe and need thorough testing. Only a certified doctor can diagnose and treat these conditions properly. 

    When do I need to see a doctor?

    As said previously, heart palpitations aren’t always serious. For example, a simple position change or external stimulants like caffeine can make you feel like your heart is racing when lying down. However, in some cases, they do indicate a severe health issue. So how to know when you need to see a doctor? 

    If you have frequent heart palpitation along with any of the below-mentioned symptoms, then you should see a doctor-

    • Shortness of breath
    • Feeling dizzy or nauseous
    • Pain in chest
    • Fainting
    • Long-lasting fatigue
    • Swollen feet

    When you go to a doctor with these complaints, you will need to share your detailed medical history. The doctor will also want to know the frequency and possible triggers for heart palpitations. However, the doctor might need additional tests for an apt diagnosis or confirmation of the suspected condition. Often, an electrocardiogram or EKG is suggested. These tests track heartbeats by measuring electrical impulses. 

    The doctor might need echocardiograms to take pictures of the heart and examine them for any structural abnormalities. For determining external triggers, a stress test might be conducted that rules out blood pressure and exercise. Finally, a CT scan or computed tomography imaging is necessary if a more detailed view of the heart is required. 


    Heart palpitations or feeling that your heart beats fast when lying down is not exactly a severe issue. Nevertheless, if you are worried about it or notice that the frequency of palpitations has increased, you can consult a doctor. Likewise, if you have changed your lifestyle and continue having heart palpitations, you should seek immediate medical help. To know more about heart palpitation and how it affects your life, call or visit Ujala Cygnus Hospital. 

    For free teleconsultation with our doctor, call us at 88569-88569 or fill the form to share your problem.

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