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I am having issues when going to bed. After I lie down I sometimes notice a heavy heart beat. I also sometimes have a pressure in the forehead (headache at some points) and parts of my body go uncomfortably numb. This is sometimes followed by jolts that wake me up just when I am about to fall asleep.

I am a bit overweight - definitely stressed out - and check nicotine gum.

I'm not sure if I should be concerned but the fact of the matter is going to bed is a real pain these days. I asked my doctor about the jolts and numbness - we did the EMG and he suggested the jolts are sleep starts - but overall, even during the days, I simply feel a bit off. I am ready to see the doc again but as we pursued this twice I don't have much hope anything else will be done.

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I thought I might be the only one but its good to know someone else is having the same trouble. I served overseas and thought it might be as a result of that. Here it is 0730 on a Saturday and I haven't slept since yesterday sometime because like you, I don't like the feeling. Feels like my heart stops and it jolts me awake. Anyway, you're not alone with this condition if that helps at all. Just curious if you had the Anthrax or Small Pox shots in the last 4 or 5 years? I have and I didn't like either. I've probably had 8 - 10 Anthrax but I'm happy I don't have to get them any longer. I am thinking I may have a bit of PTSD as well because I don't like the night, I sleep like a baby during the day but I wonder if its that I'm just worn out from being up sooo long at a time. I guess my problem started over there, I would stay awake for 2 and sometimes 3 days and then just pass out for 6 - 8 hours. Anyway, good luck... I think I will get a physical and see if that reveals anything strange.
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I have a strong suspicion that anxiety is causing your problem. I went through exactly the same: pounding heart and uncomfortable breathing and jolting awake just as I was falling asleep. Somebody told me it was a conflict between a tired body and an active mind - your body wants to rest but your mind is saying 'no, no, there's still too much to think about'. I was really relieved when I heard this explanation as it made complete sense.

I found that sleeping on my side rather than on my back helped and I began taking a tea of dried herbs about half an hour before bed. I used valerian, lemon balm, passion flower and pasque flower.

Hope this helps as I was absolutely exhausted by the time I realised what it was.
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Wow, I've looked into some health forms, and this is the firs that described what I feel like when trying to go to sleep accuratly. I too am overweight, and when i lay down to go to bed, I get numbness in my left arm/hand, and recently in my legs, and feet. Also, my feet are very cold when I am just sitting around, I've noticed that within the last week or so. When I lay down to sleep I'll feel my heart beat, and discribing it as "heavy" is perfect. It's like you can feel it more than usual, and sometime no matter how many times I roll over, or move the part of my body I feel my heart pouding in, it I can still feel it. Then of course I concentrate on it, and I can't stop. I also concentrate on my breathing. I have had some weird breathing issues going on for the past few months on and off. Usually, during the day, at least when I am focused on something, my breathing is fine, but as soon as I'm not focused, I notice it, and I feel like I can't get a deep enough breath no matter what I do, and I end up yawning really deep to try and get on, and it stays that way until I get focuses on something. so when trying to fall asleep at night, of course that same thing happens. I also experince the just have fallen asleep and being jolted awake because I'm not breathing feeling. It is horrible. Falling asleep for me is like an event now, it's horrible. I also get terribly afraid at night when all this goes on, because it makes me feel like I'm going to die, and even though it is irrational, I often beleive it just because not feeling like you are breathing right, and concentrating on your heart beat that you can feel too much, and feel like is beating too fast is enough to drive me insane. I also sometimes feel like I have pain in my chest, randomly. I do not know if that is because I'm like wow your heart beat and breathing are off, and that causes the pain, or if it is actual pain. I'm trying to get into a new doctor's office asap, but I can't seem to get an appointment. So I'm glad other feels the same way I do, well not glad you feel this way, but glad someone besides me does also. One more thing, my mom seems to think this is all anxiety, but I'm not stressed over anything now, nor do I feel anxious. When the symptoms happen I can feel anxious sometimes, but I never do until they come about. Thus, I don't see how it could be anxitety, but who knows. I'd take any answer at this point in time.
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Hi all, I've never posted on one of these sites so I don't know if I doing this right. Bear with me. I started out with tingling in my left leg, which eventually spread to tingling in both legs and feet, and left forearm and hand. Now the three middle toes on my right foot are numb. Doctors have found nothing yet. I also went through a period of high stress taking care of my elderly father where i was waking up suddenly in the middle of the night with high anxiety and crazy heart beat. One of the nights I actually went to the hospital because I was in atrial fibrillation (sometimes very serious irregular heartbeat). So, the heartbeat was diagnosed as "stress related" and since then my father passed away. I am doing everything I can to get my my health back in order such as eating better, trying yoga, swimming, and just treating myself well. I went to a holistic alternative doctor who suggested some B Anti Stress Vitamins for me. So, I am not a doctor, but I suggest that everyone take a look at how they are treating their bodies as a whole, including exercise, diet and stress management. Also get tested for diabetes or glucose intolerance which may be causing the tingling. Last but not least, have you ever been tested for Lyme disease from a tick bite? Advanced Lyme can cause nerve damage. Check it out. None of this is easy, but in my life, I did not put my own health first, and now I think I am paying the consequences. So, good luck to you all, I hope you all feel better soon! :-)
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Wow, I thought I was going crazy, but seeing I'm not the only one puts me a little at ease. I know its crazy to think that I'm gonna die in my sleep at the age of 26, but when this starts happening you can't seem to put it out of your mind. I just started seeing a prominent nutritionist in my area, started a new diet, and have been taking multivitamins at night to help me relax, and in the morning to help me get up. Heavy would be the perfect way to describe the feeling, and thinking about the heaviness makes my heart beat faster and then I get all paranoid that i'm gonna die. I dropped a few pounds when I started having sleep apnea, but this is a different monster. I still get the jolting feeling when falling asleep. Sometimes I have to wait until daybreak to pass out and fall asleep. I wish some doctor would find this thread and let us know what's going on.
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I have the same thing. I'm not over weight. I am heathly and extremely fit. The doc reckons i may have WPW. It all starting when i began taking Diclofenac which is an anti inflammatory drug for a sporting injury. I don't like going to bed now, and frequently wake up at random times like 4 or 5 in the morning with a feeling that my heart area "hurts". Recently, tingling in the feet has been noticeable which is of nusciance value. I am quite stressed at the moment, and i noticed brief depression.

It's all good. numerous people sharing the same pains means that we are not dieing.


gd luck
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Thoracic Outlet Disorder? I have experienced many of the same symptoms as described by you all - a sort of pain/tingling/numbness in the left side of my chest, down my shoulder and arm and even hand, and sometimes through my neck. It gets worse when I lie down and my entire left arm sometimes begins to throb like it's being deprived of blood and is on its way to "falling asleep". I noticed it seemed to also get worse when I was not in bed if I had just eaten something salty. And last year there was a period where I was afraid of climbing into bed every night because it felt like my heart was beating too fast and then sometimes I was jolted awake by a heavy beat and I would literally panic, thinking it was the onset of a heart attack. I eventually had to keep myself up all night until I was at the point of almost passing out so that I would just fall asleep within seconds of climbing into bed rather than simply lying there and worrying myself.

With that said, I have been doing a little searching and I did come across the aforementioned Disorder. Some of the symptoms fit perfectly what I have felt, so for those of you who have a regular doctor it may be worth mentioning next time you go in.
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I saw a show called "Mystery Diagnosis" on TLC and they had shown an episode very similar to these issues. The man finally went in for a sleep study and it showed he had terrible sleep apnea. After being treated for it with a CPAP his heart palpitations basically went away. He was a preacher and didn't smoke and wasn't overweight so it can happen to anyone. Hope this helps!
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Hello,

A couple months ago I had a panic attack where I thought my heart had stopped. In the days and weeks following I had incidents where I had sleep starts, or mini panic attacks which I was able to preempt by assuring myself I was O.K. These would happen while doing normal things like driving or watching T.V. At the time of the original, and worst, panic attack, I had just eaten several slices of pizza and inhaled a hefty dose of Cannabis. After the incident, I made changes to my lifestyle including ceasing smoking cannabis, cutting out junk food in general as well as food with a lot of cheese (i.e. pizza). Although I was personally confident that it was a panic attack and not a heart attack that I survived, I began taking baby aspirin once a day and made other changes recommended for people recovering from a heart attack. I have begun taking multi-vitamins in the morning and drinking green tea regularly (a change I have enjoyed as it is quite delicious, I must say). The sleep starts and feelings of panic have gone away of late, however now I am having different problems.

I have been having similar symptoms to those you all have described. I have not had the numbness/tingling fortunately, but instead what happens is that it feels like my heart pauses for a moment then beats heavily once and returns to normal. This can happen every 3rd beat, or 7th, or 20th... it is random. As you can see by that I have been counting beats, I start focusing on it which leads to being unable to fall asleep as my mind is utterly occupied. Lying on my side, or belly, or back it still happens. This tends to only happen when lying down though it happens occasionally while standing up or sitting down.. less frequently while sitting.

Also, occasionally through the day I will get just these tiny little pains around my chest. I don't know if pain is really the right word.. it feels like someone poked me, or something else unexpected. More specifically my mind is focused on that point of my body for a moment, and that can lead to a bit of a startled feeling.

I would love to believe that it's just anxiety because that means I could, in theory, ignore it until I could see a doctor or make necessary lifestyle changes long enough to have them take effect. The thing is, I don't know what could be causing the anxiety. I do not have any significant source of stress in my life. I am 28 years old and financially secure albeit a bit lonely. It feels ridiculous to me that I should be having these kinds of worries at this stage in my life. I used to love sleep but now I just feel confused. I don't know if the lightheadedness is due to lack of sleep, or something more sinister. I am going to see a doctor soon about this all, but any comments would be of great help.

Sorry for the very long post, this is a subject very present on my mind (it's also 4am and I am probably not sleeping again tonight).
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I have been suffering from the similiar problem for last 2 years. I have studied a lot in the Internet and initially it seemed to me heart problem. My study says this usually happens to people who are hyper active or having personality type 'A'. I rushed to ER at least 15 times a year but cardios couldn't reveal anything from ECG, ECHO, CT-SCAN and tons of other tests. At last recently I have been diagnosed with moderately severe sleep apnea and prescribed with a CPAP machine during sleep. I have been using this machine for a week. Sleep specialist at Singapore said it would take at least 1 month to get adjusted with the machine and I will get the result after 6 months time. I have the symptomps like numbness on my left chest, moderate chest pain, fatigue, tiredness, difficulty in falling asleep and also jolting feeling while falling asleep. I can also feel my fast and pounding heart beats which make me wake several times at night. I could sleep only one in each 4-5 nights. Besides CPAP you should also take physical excercise (at least a 30 min walk), swrimming, stress management programs like yoga or meditation. All these helped me in the past days.
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Hi. My name is Max, I am 22 years old, and you should read this!

I have the exact same problems described in this post.

A week ago, as I was lying in bed, I had a major panic attack. You all know the feeling: heart racing, chest pain, dizzinness, "panic", feeling of aggravated reality and or feeling that you are having a heart attack or loosing your mind. I didn't sleep that night.

The next morning, I went to the doctor. I had had panick attacks before, but it seems that everytime you have one you need to be reassured by a specialist. the Doctor took my pressure and listened to my heart. He told me everything was fine. And suddenly, my heart stopped racing. I still felt very very fragile, but i didn't feel like my life wa sin danger anymore.

Anyway. I expected the symptoms to go away... they did, but other symptoms appeared. For the next few days, I felt still very fragile and felt lightegeaded as well. BUT THE REAL PROBLEM WAS SLEEPING. Sleeping became a real pain. As I was lying in bed, just about to fall asleep, I would feel my heart JUMP. That feeling was followed by a sensation of PRESSURE in my head. (The pressure is very similar to the one you get when diving deep under water).... It was terrible. It felt like my head was about to explode. (maybe not that bad) .... anyway.... The JOLTING sensation in both heart and brain was followed by a tingling sensation in arms and legs, which only lasted for a few seconds.

Long story short

My symptoms were, and still are :

1) Just as I am about to fall asleep (when the dream in my mind seems to materialize) I get this "jolt" both in my brain and in my heart. Is it Sleep Start? I'm not sure. But it's the same feeling you get from riding a roller coaster... like my heart is jumping into my chest... it's terrifying!

2) Dizzinness.. off course. More prominent at night, but a general feeling of lightheadedness during the day.

3) Pressure in my brain or sinus (like your head is in a vice, or like the feeling you get when diving deep underw water)

4) HEAVY, IRREGULAR heartbeats (the beats are certainly HEAVY, but their regularity is hard to assert) In other words, my heart could be beating fine, but it feels heavy and "not fine at all".

5) I DREAD sleep...... DREAD DREAD..... the thought of going to sleep frightens me.... this is not a life... so #5 would be ... DEPRESSION... hehe... it's normal...

There are many other symptoms, but I am too tired to describe them at this point. If anyone out there can help, please let us know.... IF NOT.... then... the least we can do is share our pain on this godforsaken Blog!

Take care everyone.... and good luck.
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I, too have had these symptoms for years. I figured it was due to anxiety and un-healthy living. (I am type A, smoked and a bit over weight)

After about 10 years of putting up with these symptoms, they got worse and I ended up in the ER because of chest pains during the day. After the full cardiac work up, they said it wasn't my heart but I was low in potassium and magnesium. Being deficient in any of the electrolytes (Potassium, magnesium, calcium) can cause heart beat irregularities, chest pain as well as anxiety.

Within 24 hours of taking the minerals, the anxiety and chest pain went away and the palpitations greatly decreased.(I also quit smoking and tried to clean up my diet) I still have a bad night now and then, but is usually when I have eaten very poorly (ie junk food) or when I am hormonal. Dehydration can play a part in it as well. The episodes I do have aren't nearly as bad as they used to be and I can ususally calm myself down enough to sleep a bit on those nights.

The good news is I no longer fear going to sleep and can actually sleep through the night 9 out of 10 nights. You might want to try adding magnesium, potassium, calcium and a B-complex to your diet and see what happens. I know you feel like you are losing your mind, but rest assured you are not. Your body can react to stress even when you feel there isn't any stress in your life becase the body is so used to living in a stressed environment it doesn't know any other way to react. The body can only take so much and will eventually break down if we don't recognize it's cry for help. Hope this helps.
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Hello all,
How relieving to see this post and all the answers. Yes, also having the symptoms, type A personality, ex-smoker, overweight and very very stressed. Seems these are the common factors doesn' it?
Anyway to resume the clinical history:
- Have had the SNORESAT study to rule out APNEA, and it was ruled out. My Nose,Ear, Throat dr. anyway did what is known as a uvulofaringoplasty (forgive me English is not my mother tongue), and breathed better
- Over the next months the rest of the symptoms came in : chest compression, loud and strong heartbeats, seemingly erratic heartbeat, shortness of breath, panic, fear of dying and shallow -quick breathing. I measured my blood press. and it was always fine, 80/120 regardless of how my chest or heartbeat felt. If much, it was somtimes in the lows 70/100.
- Lab tests show perfect potassium and magnesium levels.
- Today went to the cardiologist and he assures me my heart is perfectly fine, he thinks this is a disorder called Dysautonomia. This is diagnosed with the "Tilt Test" . He says this dysautonomia has onset mainly during teenage, however severe stress and illnesses can trigger it. Will let you know what happens after my test next week.
Please if any of you find + info or get properly diagnosed , then post it!
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"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

The vagus nerve reaches down from the brain into the esophagus and is a central nervous system main line. When pressed by gas it can trigger extra heart beats, cause pain, desensitize you (numbness) from your head to your toes, interfere with your breathing (shortness of breath), generate arthritic type pains in the hands and feet and more. Compressed it generates a "nerve" pain that feels like the center of your chest is humming or quivering even though your heart is healthy.

Intestinal gas that is trapped is the main culprit. The gas, once released, suddenly cause the symptoms to abate and one feels fine - and relieved. Unfortunately, recurring gas starts the cycle again and after the gas forms a pocket in your diaphragm it can find it again and the symptoms return. Partial release brings partial relief. Even the smallest amounts of gas when placed properly against the nerve interfere with the nerves electrical impulses.

Lying down to sleep at night makes matters worse because as we sleep, we suspend consciousness and the autonomic nerves take over and the vagus nerve is a major highway. With the vagus nerve compressed, as soon as you drift off to sleep its problems become worse because your conscious "over-ride" is now off. So one awakens with a startle, and can have any one or a number of magnified symptoms at this time from numbness to irregular heart beats.

Addressing the gas which causes the nerve to be stressed is the primary goal. Eating late at night or before bed is not a good idea. Shifting meals up earlier and eating smaller portions makes a lot of sense. Reducing carbohydrates and excess sugars from meals also makes sense. Sugar overload is the number one cause of indigestion. If one is lactose intolerant, cutting out milk products also makes sense. If one is overweight, reducing weight is also always a good idea. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your body. Sometimes one receives a physical injury to the diaphragm area and it can start a cycle of disruption. The vagus nerve is responsible for the gastric balance and when it is distressed an imbalanced gastric juice balance may result causing everything one consumes to trigger bouts of gas - and possible return of the distressing symptoms.

The bottom line is that fear only exacerbates the problem. The unknown is always the most feared and nerve/heart issues are great food for fear. So RELAX. Go to your doctor and see if he/she agrees you may be having gas/vagus nerve issues and what he/she recommends. Make some changes in your eating habits and diet, live a bit healthier - exercise more to help dislodge gas from settling against the diaphragm. Once the cause is addressed a long-term or short-term bout with these symptoms can be ended and folks all over the world with similar mysterious symptoms, stress-filled nights and uncomfortable days can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Note: This is not meant to replace the advice of your physician or competent medical personnel. It is not a diagnosis but merely presented for discussion purposes.
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