Scientists have found: an adult needs to sleep at night at least eight hours a day. It is in a dream that the body is restored, it accumulates strength, the brain processes the information received during the day, the body’s defenses are strengthened.
In a dream, a person is resting. And it is not for nothing that we regretfully recall the times from childhood, when we were put to bed for a nap, but we fiercely opposed it … But for some people, night sleep is not associated with rest and relaxation, on the contrary, people are afraid to fall asleep, because very often, in a dream they are haunted by night tachycardia.
1 What is tachycardia?
Human hearts beat with a frequency of 60-90 beats per minute. The condition in which the heartbeat reaches 90 beats and higher is called tachycardia in medicine. It can be physiological, and it can be pathological – a symptom of various diseases. Physiological tachycardia is a variant of the norm, does not cause the patient significant discomfort, occurs in completely healthy people, passes after a short rest.
It can be observed with significant physical exertion, in stressful situations, with fear, emotional experiences, both positive and negative, after drinking coffee and caffeine-containing drinks. Such a physiological increase in heart rate can occur at night. If, before going to sleep, a person, for example, watched a horror film, decided to exercise, drank a couple of cups of coffee, if the day was emotionally saturated, there were stresses at work. All these factors do not pass without leaving a trace and can provoke an increased heart rate during the night.
If such a condition occurs once and has a connection with any of the above reasons, after a rest, the person feels well, this condition is regarded as a variant of the norm, and there is no reason for concern. Perhaps an attack of heart palpitations has arisen due to an overstrain of the body and nervous system. But if such attacks occur regularly at night, then they are pathological, dangerous to health. And it is necessary to find out the cause of their occurrence.
2 Causes of night tachycardia
But why the attacks of heart palpitations occur precisely at night? There are reasons for this. This condition can occur when:
- Reduced tone
Bradycardia is observed directly during respiratory arrest – a slowing of the heart rate. After holding the breath, the heart rate is accelerated – tachycardia. Nighttime breathing disorder in sleep leads to myocardial depletion, the development of arrhythmias, and worsening of the course of heart diseases. People suffering from nocturnal sleep apnea, often overweight, snoring in their sleep. More often men suffer from this disease.
Also, the causes of heart palpitations during the night can be: heart disease, endocrine disorders (hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus), imbalance of potassium, magnesium, intoxication, excessive use of alcohol, nicotine, certain medications, infection of the body, anemia. In a small percentage of cases, the cause cannot be figured out – this is nighttime idiopathic tachycardia.
3 Symptoms of a night increase in heart rate
Choking at night
Have you had conditions when you woke up in the middle of the night from a strong heartbeat, feeling of lack of air and an attack of fear? As if you had a nightmare, but you did not remember a dream? At such moments, it seems as if the heart will jump out of the chest, and if you put a palm on the chest, it pulsates from heart pushes. All of the above symptoms are characteristic of a tachycardia attack at night.
Heartbeat, sweating, feeling short of breath, feeling of fear and anxiety, discomfort, heaviness or pain in the chest, dizziness, headache — these manifestations are characteristic of a night tachycardia clinic. If you experience a similar condition at night, you know these symptoms firsthand, they often interrupt your sleep at night, do not delay with the examination. You probably have a tachycardia at night.
ECG Holter Monitoring
The following methods are used in diagnostics:
- ECG. It may not be informative in paroxysmal form of arrhythmia, which worries the patient only at night, but not in the daytime. When removing the ECG attack may not be recorded. In this case, Holter ECG monitoring helps.
- ECG monitoring by Holter – electrodes are fixed on the human body and the whole day, even in a dream, ECG recording occurs. After recording, the data is output to a computer and decrypted by experts. This study allows you to fix the night tachycardia, to assess the shape, frequency and duration of episodes.
- An abdominal electrophysiological study. This is a study of the cardiac conduction system using electrodes that are inserted through the esophagus.
- EchoCG is a method that allows visualization of the heart chambers, valves, great vessels, and the state of the heart muscle.
Also, to determine the causes of tachycardia used: ultrasound of the thyroid gland, general, biochemical blood tests, analysis for MHO, determination of blood glucose levels.
5 Treatment of fast heartbeat at night
Treatment consists in the treatment of the underlying disease that caused the tachycardia, contraction, and ideally the cessation of attacks, and the prevention of the appearance of new ones. If, after examination, cardiac pathology is diagnosed, nocturnal hypertension is detected, consultation with a cardiologist is obligatory. If there is arterial hypertension, the doctor will select the dose of necessary medications, taking into account the fact that the pressure rises mostly at night, so a large dosage of antihypertensive drugs will be prescribed in the evening than during the day.
Proper selection of antihypertensive therapy will allow you to avoid attacks of tachycardia. If tachycardia has developed on the background of nighttime sleep apnea, the treatment of this disease is necessary. Such patients are recommended to sleep on their side, reduce body weight, visit a otolaryngologist. The main method of treating apnea is CPAP treatment with a special apparatus, as well as the use of special devices during sleep that prevent the upper airways from falling off and facilitate the installation of the mandible in the correct position, which prevents snoring and respiratory depression.
If the cause of tachycardia at night lies in mental disorders, neurosis, panic attacks – consultation and treatment of the psychotherapist is necessary. Identification of the cause of tachycardia and its elimination allows patients to forget about the disease that bothered them at night, and to gain a full, healthy sleep. In addition, anti-arrhythmic drugs, sedative drugs, b-blockers are used to alleviate the symptoms. The treatment must be prescribed by a doctor; medications are not allowed on their own.
6 Prevention of night tachycardia
Hiking in the fresh air
In the evening you can not exercise, you should limit the pastime at the computer and TV. Coffee, strong tea, alcohol should not be taken in the evening. A rich dinner can also trigger a tachycardia attack, so you should not eat well in the evening.
At bedtime, walks in the fresh air and a relaxing bath are useful. In the prevention of the occurrence of seizures, if they are associated with mental disorders, neuroses. Well help breathing exercises, auto-training, sedatives: infusions of valerian, motherwort before bedtime.