Heart Palpitations When Lying Down At Night

Heart Palpitations When Lying Down At Night – Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Heart Palpitation is defined as – Subjective awareness of own heart beats. Normally we can not feel our heart beats but when we feel them it is known as Heart Palpitations. Heart palpitations are when your heart is abnormally racing, skipping beats or rather beating more strongly than normal. Heart palpitations are mostly caused by real changes of the heartbeat. Most of the heart palpitations that take place at night are not harmful but they are uneasy. They are caused by the same factors as those that happen during the day.

What Causes Heart Palpitations When Lying Down at Night?

Heart Disease People who have heart diseases are likely to experience frequent heart palpitations due to the defects in the heart. Oftenly occurs when one is lying down due to the side the heart is at and has to work harder in circulating blood through the body system. This happens often if the heart already is suffering from a given ailment or condition. Diseases or conditions affecting the heart such as, valvular heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias and my cordial infarction are some of the known ailments of the heart which can lead to an acceleration of the beats of the heart hence palpitations.

Intake of Caffeine – Drinking large quantities of caffeine per day accelerates the metabolism rates of the body system which in turn leads to an increase in the beats of the heart of any given person. Excessive drinking of coffee or tea which are stimulants which contain high levels of caffeine is major causes of the abnormal beating of the heart.

Caffeine - Heart Palpitations Causes

Dehydration  Excessive alcohol intake or doing exercises before going to bed or late hours of the day may cause one to suffer from dehydration, this mostly shows when they get palpitations while lying down. Manifests itself while an individual is lying down.

Smoking – Nicotine which is mostly found in cigarettes which is a form of a stimulant, leads to the acceleration of the beats of the heart. Individuals who have the hobby of smoking find themselves at a high risk of suffering from heart palpitations.

Smoking - Heart Palpitations Causes

Anxiety, Panic, Stress and Fear These are among the major factors that cause heart palpitations while lying down. These four factors lead to abnormal heartbeats, especially when an individual is in an uncomfortable surrounding. Without any alert, the metabolism rate of the body system accelerates which in turn leads to the heart beating at a very fast pace or rate.

Mitral Valve Prolapse A heart ailment which affects individuals and tends to make them complain of heart palpitations when lying down on the left side or right.

Eating Too Much Food After consuming large amounts of food, one is at a risk of suffering from increased heartbeats.

Too Much Food - Heart Palpitations Causes

Hormonal Changes – Women have some stages in their lives whereby they may be affected by increased heartbeats due to the same conditions especially when they get to sleep. Such hormonal changes may be caused by cycles such as Menstrual Cycle, Perimenopause and Menopause which leads changes in the hormones balance.

Pregnancy – A big percentage of all expectant women at a point in their pregnancy are affected by heart palpitations when lying down on the back, this is caused by the changes in the hormonal balances in their body.

Pregnancy - Heart Palpitations Causes

Diagnosis For Heart Palpitations When Lying Down at Night?

The following procedures are used to test the number of beats of an individual’s heart beats. This depends on the seriousness of the condition and the duration of the test needed to get the number of heartbeats required to happen.

The tests that the doctor may require to do will depend on the overall condition of one’s heart. The tests are taken while incorporating the signs you narrate to the doctor, this allows them to come up with the correct diagnosis or any other hidden factor that may lead to them happening. The diagnosis procedures include


Tracks the beats of one’s heart by counting the electrical indicators which are dispersed by the various sections of the heart. The ECG pattern is a cycle of peaks known as PQRST. These are the indicators that displayed on hospital computer screens. An electrocardiogram is mostly used by doctors to confirm that one is not suffering from arrhythmia since it cannot show the real heart palpitations.


Follows EKG which involves a diagnosis measurement called an Echocardiogram, which takes an image of one’s heart so that one’s doctor can diagnose body structure ailments. Echocardiograms utilize ultrasound waves and form an image of one’s heart based on the reflected waves as they bounce back.

Stress Test

Used for diagnosis of heart ailments that may only crop up when you are doing exercises or when the heart is working more than when it is at rest i.e, stress test or treadmill test. While carrying out this test one is required to exercise for a short time, this makes the heart work hard, it helps the doctor to establish your heart rate based on one’s age and health status till you attain that target. During this test both EKG and blood pressure are checked endlessly.

Use of Holster Monitor

It is a tiny heart monitor that is worn and calculates the beats of one’s heart in a whole day. The duration one has to wear it is depended on the length one’s doctor requires to check the heartbeats. It records a calculation of one’s heart EKG as they perform the day to day chores which helps to acquire a more correct image when compared to results of tests carried out in the hospital.

How To Treat Heart Palpitations When Lying Down at Night?

If one’s doctor doesn’t find the heart suffering from any particular ailment, then the abnormal beating of the heart rarely requires any treatment. The doctor only prescribes ways for one to stay free of the heart palpitations, but if the abnormal beating of the heart is due to ailments such as an arrhythmia. Treatment will be mainly to rectify the ailment.

The most effective ways to treat heart palpitations is by staying away from any factors that lead to cause the condition

  • One has to reduce stress: By using relaxing methods. For example meditation, yoga or deep breathing.
  • Avoiding Using Stimulants: For example Caffeine, nicotine, medicines which are cold and some energy drinks which make ones heart beat abnormally either fast or in an irregular way.
  • Avoiding The Use of Illegal Drugs: Drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines can cause the condition.
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad