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    BP increases during sleep
    cscottg posted:
    The thumping of my heart woke me up. So I checked my BP, it was 143/83 w/a heartrate of 100 then I checked it approx 7 minutes later it was 119/75 w/a heartrate of 98 then 10 min later 119/75 heartrate 81. What could be the reason for this increase then lowering. Last week I started a 30-40 minutes fast walking regement on the treadmill. My BP has been at goods levels before & after.
    Amelia_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi cscottg,

    Have you ever experienced any sleep disorders? Sleep apnea ? You might want to speak with your physician about having a sleep study performed to find the cause of your high blood pressure through the night.

    According to WebMD's Sleep Apnea Health Center, "Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep." The effects can be high blood pressure as well as stroke, heart attack, heart failure and diabetes.

    This WebMD Overview on Sleep Apnea should give you some more information to read before speaking with your doctor. I hope that you and your physician are able to find the cause of this nighttime hypertension as well as some treatment. Best of luck with your health! Please keep us posted on what you find out! Take care
    Best Wishes! Amelia
    An_192059 responded:
    I have been woken by my racing heart on a regular bases. Hearing your heart pound 'through your chest' while sleeping quite frankly scares the heck out of me, so naturally the heart rate goes up even more. I don't have the equipment to measure the rates [time to get them>, but its so fast sometimes, i can't sleep for the 'rest' of the night. Or, I'll go lay down on the sofa and try to sleep it away.... My doctor is aware of the condition, although we have done little about it.
    I was involved in a car accident 7 years ago [rear ended> resulting in a 'cardiac contusion'. The racing heart problem started about 18 months ago and I am trying to figure out if it is any of the new medications I take, of the 6 'needed'.
    I have also found for about 2 years now, that I suddenly awake on a 'regular bases' with a tremendous "whole body jolt" that 'centers' in my chest, and leaves me gasping for air.
    Any assist in information or advise is appreciated.
    Betsies replied to An_192059's response:
    Hi. I just read your comment about you being awakened during the night by your pounding heart. Ever since I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure back in 2002, this has happened to me as well. I have noticed that since that time, I have become sensitive to heat and cold. Sometimes during the night, I too will be awakened by a pounding heart. I noticed that when I throw off the covers to cool down, my heart slows down. Then I can go back to sleep. If I get too warm, it will happen again. So for me, this solves that problem. I do not know if this is related to the Congestive Heart Failure or not. My heart rate going up does not just occur during the night when I get overheated. It can also happen during the day. I used to live in the San Joaquin Valley where triple digit summers are the norm. For me, it was always best to do whatever I had to do early in the day before it got too hot because otherwise, my heart rate would go up. When I got into a cooler environment, in a room with a fan or air conditioner, I got better. See if this will help you. Good luck.
    reshea47 responded:
    This has happened to me 3 times this year. When I awoke, my bp was 210/100 and my pulse was 130 so I took an anxiety pill, called 911 and did some deep breathing. My BP went down to 130/80 and pulse 88 by the time the paramedics arrived. However, every time I went back to sleep, it happened over and over again so I went to the doctor and found that my potassium was low. I wasn't drinking enough water but it happened again when my potassium level was ok. This all began after I started a rigorous weight lifting program this year. I now drink lots of water and try not to eat anything too salty or sweet before bedtime. I have been ok for the last few months.
    HeartR8 responded:
    If you sleep on your side it is possible to restrict Blood Flow to and from the Heart, this in turn will stimulate your heart to work Harder. You will therefore wake up to this discomfort and experience your vital signs elevated. (This is Very Common and nothing to be Alarmed about) Sit up or if you have a bed facility to elivat your torso slightly do so and stay calm. In 10 minutes or so you should find that your heart rate decreases and the thumping in your chest disappears along with your elevated blood pressure. Eat Healthy and Excercise! HeartR8. XxxxX
    llm228 replied to An_192059's response:
    to An-192059
    I too was involved in a car accident 12 years ago [also rear ended, resulting in 'Cardiac Contusion' & 'Commotio Cordis' (arthritis of the sternum) & 'Left Axillary Nerve Damage'. My 'heart racing problem while asleep, started about 6 weeks after the accident. I am well aware of the 'fright factor' / 'is this the end?' mentality associated with this 'illness', which only increases the fear factor and rise in blood pressure, making matters worse, resulting in what remains of sleepness nights, staying awake to avoid a 'final end to the problem. And I am familiar with the 'walk of fear' to the sofa... I have had two 'heart catherterizations; one 8 months after the accident, and again 6 years later when 'crushing pain' & the body jolts started, senting me to the hospital for another, only to find I have 'extreme hypertension', Panic & Anxiety Attacks.
    The mixture of meds that my physician and I have currently concluded that 'appear to maintain a fare balance' are "Doxepin" (started 2 months after accident) & "Clonazepam" (started 2 years later) twice daily in low doses, and low dose 'Xanax' for severe "physical/mental dynamics"; along with a Statin regimen, Fenofibrate, Metroprolol, and yes 'Nitroglycerine Tabs' for much more severe "scares".
    All of this seems to keep 'things in check', but the heart racing still wakes me up at night, scares the bejesus out of me, as does the 'whole body jolts' & 'gasping for air' (along the the never ending 'ordeal of PTSD' from the accident (a 'side trip upstairs' left me with a wonderful experience, but to this day, a remaining 'horrendous overall uncontrolable experience', where even a 'car wreck TV commercial or movie' makes me break down like a little girl...
    weelittle replied to HeartR8's response:
    Thank you. This is helpful.

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