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It is a major comfort to find other people who are going through the same thing. It is a terrifying to really feel like you are dying in the middle of the night. It started when I hit my late 20's (I'm 33 year old female). I was always a moderate drinker with no problems, but suddenly a few drinks and 4 hours or so later would wake up with an energized rush and then the heart would slowly get faster and faster. I must have hit 180 a few times.

Sometimes it'll calm down quickly, but the other night I was up with it for more than 5 hours and really thought I was going to collapse. Red wine is the absolute worst for some reason, although any drink of more than 1 will start me up.

I really think it has to do with a misfiring of adrenaline brought on by a bad chemical reaction. As a last resort, I'll take a low dose of beta blocker and it will calm things down. If this heart racing was due to other factors, wouldn't the beta blocker have little effect? I see others on this board have also used Xanax to positive results.

It's truly a nightmarish condition that I truly wish was properly dealt with by doctors and considered a legitimate condition. This is not normal and I do not buy the explanation that we are simply hyperaware of our heart rate and everyone gets this but sleeps through it.



I am nearly fifty/female and the same thing happens to me. It is really scary. What I can't understand is that when I was on holiday in France for two weeks I had the usual excess's of wine and this did not happen once, even though I drank more than I do at home, I din't get a headache either. Is there something added to our wine that ultimately hurts us? It wouldn't surprise me if the Sulphites used in our wine are higher than abroad.

I am going to go to the Doc.


Hi guys, I just thought I would give some comfort to all those who have this happen to them with a few bits of personal knowledge and personal health/outlook on the problem.

First off, understand that I am a 20 year old college student in great shape playing a division 2 sport (age and weight is nothing on this topic)- but for all those who think maybe losing a few pounds will help this problem by all means do it. It will make your MIND feel better which will in turn take away lots of the frustration you have with this problem. I promise, take it from me :-) :

Understand, that I am a complete nutcase on the weekends and I drink alcohol in extreme excess AND in moderation, probably 2-4 times a week.

I have a heart murmur and SVT, a condition in which a rapid arrhythmia comes on suddenly with a certain movement in where my heart can sustain a beat upwards of 180-250 BPM for up to several minutes. (Yes, scary but it IS NOT AT ALL DANGEROUS! I have run the bases with this happening!) --Caffeine and alcohol are two substances which can aggravate this condition, so if you have gotten symptoms of the above perhaps look into it! They can give you beta-blockers which works for most or at worse preform a small procedure to fix your ventricular into not firing off those random signals anymore--

I suffered from a pretty lousy stream of general anxiety disorder (in my family) and did not get relief until about 3 years later when I was put on Xanax and given counseling to learn to LET GO! G.A.D. made me monitor my heart constantly to the point I could not work out, I could not jog, I could not eat different foods without fearing they may effect my heartbeat. Friends, it is your heart! It has kept most of you alive longer then it has myself, and it will continue to do so! It knows what it has to do, and I understand the extreme discomfort, but it will subside when it feels it can, I promise.

And now, let me tell you pass to you these statistics:

A person with absolutely NO heart problems will still put on roughly 20 to 30 BPM from the consumption of alcohol in anything above extreme moderation (half a beer and up).

A person with absolutely NO heart problems can and will still put on 30-50 bpm on there resting heart rate if they drink alcohol and then get anxious about it when they wake up in the middle of the night (it is NOT your heart waking you, it is the lack of STAGE 4(deepest) and REM(hardest to wake) sleep brought on by alcohol which makes you very prone to those random nod on and nod offs during the course of the night).

Laying down after drinking alcohol puts a certain (but safe and natural) stress on your heart due to the change in blood pressure you get when standing up/laying down. While laying down, you tend to have higher blood pressure after drinking, and when standing up your blood pressure can dramatically drop for a bit sometimes causing people to PASS OUT or BLACK OUT after standing up from a sofa, chair, bed, etc. This is why you feel that real THUMP THUMP THUMP as you lay in bed at night, which can make your rate seem faster as well as more discomforting, but I promise, it is OK and not going to KILL YOU!

Alcohol makes it hard for the body to replenish its source of hydrated blood and you can become dehydrated very quickly and easily. A high heart rate is a GIVE IN to dehydration, which is why, while laying in bed, anxious about your heart rate, a bit dehydrated from a the few glasses of wine or beer you had with your fellas or family you experience that rapid agitated discomforting beat, beat, beat! Almost all 'hang-over' symptoms are caused by a night of bad sleep with dehydration after alcohol, (vomiting, dizzy, light head, sensitivity to light and sound, feeling extremely cold or extremely hot) and although I know I am young I have found drinking (even while quite a bit drunk) a nice bottle of Gatorade or several glasses of water right before I hit the bed dramatically reduces these symptoms of racing heart and hang-over of nights when I have forgotten to do this.

My resting heart rate is an EXTREMELY LOW 38-55 (varies from mid 30's to high 60s from person to person) and I have awoken with it going 120, 130, even 150 BPM after a night of drinking! What do I do? I curse myself, I stumble out of bed and find something to drink. If you are panicked, try to get some fresh air , or submit yourself to a cooler environment for a couple minutes (no cigarettes) while having a glass of water or Gatorade. It does wonders for your heart rate I promise. Take deep breaths and control your breathing since it something you CAN control. Your breathing is directly linked to your heart rate, so getting your breathing down will indeed lower your heart rate. Do not continuously have your hand glued over your chest or try to stop your breathing to listen to your heart rate, it will only cause anxiety about the underlying issue here and make your heart go faster/disrupt your breathing. Instead, have a nice thought in your head, anything. For me, it is a girl I met, a friend I find funny, an exam I did good on, a family member who I have not got to see. It may sound silly, but putting yourself in a good mood will stop you from being annoyed with the HR and lower at least any part brought on by anxiety. Convince yourself now, right now that this is not something that will kill you or is unhealthy. It happens to you and almost everyone who drinks, the symptoms are magnified in different ways and therefore you are just a bit on the low tolerance side with me and the rest of us here in this thread. After having a drink of water, getting some air and some physical interaction (standing up, going to a new room to sit down upright) you will feel tons better. If not, do not give up, keep trying. It isn't going to feel better instantly, but over a little bit of time it will subside completely.

Things to prevent this:

As I said, hydrate yourself as much as you can before you go to bed.

Do not EAT (ESPECIALLY OVER EATING) before you go to bed after drinking. This will almost always bring on a rise in heart rate.

Have a positive outlook starting now about this whole thing so you will not be so anxious about it when it happens.

Convince yourself that your heart knows better then you, and believe it.

Do not let this hold you back from drinking socially to your liking (as long as in healthy standards and does not disrupt your relationship with your family, friends, or yourself for that matter, if drinking is an underlying problem for you then perhaps it is for the best, no?), because drinking is one of the very few pleasurable and although not physically healthy, sometimes (completely my own opinion) healthy to our minds and emotions. It can help cope in moderation, and it can also bring out and liven an already good feeling.

This was typed all at 6 AM by me, a college student who was at a full blown Halloween-Eve party last night! I drank maybe 10 or so drinks worth of alcohol. I woke up with my HR accelerated and went through my routine of getting it down (works like a charm) but I was surfing the internet a little bit later and I google'd this topic to come upon this thread. I at one time was scared senseless of this too, but It can easily be combated. I wrote this entirely for you to feel well and better about it, and gave you some insight on how I and many of my piers in college, as well as father for those of you who think age is apparent here, (also with the same issue) can make this nightmare easily fixable.

Try it out, feel better, and don't be alarmed. It is going to happen whether you pace around miserably or not, so why not lower it the easy way? Happy Halloween!


im 19, and read all the messages on here, ive drank for a gd 3 years and been fine, then one morning my heart was racing after a night drinking, and i thought it was going to explode, and its happened everytime ive drank. i went for blood tests and ECG's and everything was fine. But its not i feel i cant drink because my heart rate will kick in an i wont b able to sleep, ive been told to get beta blockers and xanax to stop it, im going to the doctors tomz and not leaving until they gie me something. I dont wat to stope drinking, i want to know why it only happens to a few people!
ie had palpatations in the past but told this was normal because im still growing which is a load of s**t in my opinion.
I also read its because of a chemical in most alcohol called tyramine that causes the increased heart rate, and this appens when i eat sometimes and that chemical is in som foods...coinicidence? i dont think so. Good to know im not alone but my cousin died from a faulty heart this year so im scared but my doctor doesnt seem to care


I've had this problem for a while along with chest pains, and a general feeling of "impending doom" - I'm past the point of worrying now, because I've had a dodgy heart for as long as I can remember.

I can't recommend anything to combat the effects of alcohol, HOWEVER I've found that exercise can help. I've just got a job helping out at my local garage, and although at first it felt like it was going to KILL ME what with all the exertion, I'm finding now that I feel better throughout the day. My heart rate seems steadier, and I feel healthier, although I don't think this is a fix for my problems.

I don't think there is a magic answer to stop this happening when drinking, but I'd go with the idea that it's some sort of chemical reaction.

Understand that I'm 17 so let's hope that this isn't dangerous, or I'll die before I've lived.


I'm 17 and I get this reaction to alcohol, some drinks are worse than others. Cider is probably the worst for me, I can't drink it anymore, but I've found that some spirits like vodka or gin can be ok. Unlike others have reported, I feel the faster heart rate pretty much immediately, it doesn't come on in my sleep but more when I'm actually drinking.

I sometimes get chest pains, and I've had what I would call "heart spasms" in the past - always after exercise, my heart rate will rocket to what feels like dangerous levels, probably about 200bpm+.

However having said all this I just wanted to post that I've been working in a garage the past few weeks, doing quite physical work, and I feel better for it. I don't think this is a solution to my problem but lately things have been better for me.

I will give 10 points to the person who comes up with a magic answer for this! I need to drink, I WANT to drink, because it helps me escape from time to time.


Ergh ok I double posted, not my fault. Are there any mods on here? Please delete this post and my first one.


I don't know, I put some drugs ON my body the other day and didn't really feel anything.


im 19 and i have constant chest discomfort on the left side of my chest and down my left arm, ive had it for about 5 months now from morning till night, i find alcchohol actually helps me relax and eases my chest discomfort but i also find if ive had too much one night i also wake up with a steaming heart beat. i also have chest pains deep and it hurts!! i would recommend take it easy on the booze and itl make it easy for your heart! ed


I have read all of the above. I too have racing heart after alcohol. I am a 49 year old female and am very active (Personal Trainer and Sports Coach). I have low BP and low resting HR. My body fat is 19%. I think preservatives in the alcohol have a huge impact to racing heart. If a person is dehydrated and has an empty stomach before they start drinking this can also add to the problem. The bottom line is should you have these symptoms after drinking it is your body warning you to change your habits or, like the domino effect, one problem can lead to another worse problem and before you know it you do have a chronic disease which could have been prevented. Iin this case by not drinking as much or change the alcohol to one that does not have as much preservative. The vodka does work well for me and drinking in moderation. As you get older you have to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments to stay healthy.


I just wanted to let you know that im a 25 year old male, always been healthy and never had a bit of a problem with anything but i was recently sick and in the hospital and put on antibiotics, im fine now but for some reason now i have a heart rate of anywhere between 70-110 resting heart rate ive seen a heart doctor and had 3 EKG s done and he says im just fine, no reason for concern. Doctors all say they think its due to anxiety of being sick and i notice that my heart rate spike rapidly when i drink beer, she said it is a normal reaction. It scares me to death when ur heart feels like its going to jump outta your chest..and it gets worse because you notice it and focus on it. The doctor has put me on a beta blocker which treats everything from fast heart rate to stage fright, it seems to help but still does nothing when i drink alcohol but the doctors keep insisting theres nothing wrong with my heart. So hang in there everyone. I noticed that staying active and surrounding yourself with others usually makes it better because u dont notice it. Good luck all. I feel your pain.


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Fast Heart Rate After Drinking Alcohol


bonniebee wrote:

Wow, this is great! I have had to avoid alcohol in any form for several years. If I have ANY alcohol, even in a dessert if the alcohol isn't cooked off, I have three nights of heart pounding and very disturbing feelings. I call it nighttime weirdness, for lack of a better explanation. Sometimes I wonder if I am going to actually live until morning, which probably sounds a bit melodramatic unless you have actually experienced one or more of these nights. It is like adrenaline is being injected at random moments, like someone jumped out of a closet and scared the snot out of you, again and again. I am not given to panic attacks. I do have atrial fibrillation problems, but the 30 day holter monitor showed that these nighttime alcohol reactions are not AFib. I have had an electrocardiogram and ultrasound, and everything looks good. It just seems to be some reaction to alcohol. If anyone knows how to stop it, please let us all know, because I do miss my occasional margarita and a glass of fine wine.



i have had a similiar problem, i wore a 24 hour heart monitor and the cardiologist told me i had an extra valve in my heart which is causing this hard heart beat. i was also told it is not dangerous in any way and is common in every 1 in 10 people and is not visible using a ekg so a doctor wont be able to see anything wrong which is why they tell you that your fine, i recommend you try and get a 24 hour heart monitor fitted and see a cardiologist if you are worried. alcohol and drugs that stimulate the heart can trigger this.


You are not alone!! I'm on beater blockers now crazy stuff I'm only 32 it happend one morning after a night out the night before! And I use to drink a lot almost every day but two years ago that all changed when my heart felt like it was gonna blow!! My partner at the time could here my heart from the other side of the room! I think my body just surrenderd and waved the white flag!!! I smoked too till that horribl morning! Two years no smoking and drinking and I'm still getting a fast heart rate and they call it anxiety HA yeah thanks doctor what els can you tell me? Will I see 40 course now I get ectopic beats!!!! Now if the fast heart didn't worry you then this bloody will be leave me!