View Full Version : Rapid Heart Rate when waking up

09-29-2005, 11:31 PM
Hi All...I'm a newbie both to HCM and to your web site. I'm 42 and just been recently diagnosed with HCM. Currently taking Atennol. My problem started with the typical chest pain, swelling in legs & ankles, and heart murmur.

My current issue is waking up every night (or almost every night) with a rapid heart beat and drenched from sweating. After I awake...my heart races for a few minutes, then I seem to calm down and then fall back a sleep. I've been taking the Atennol for about 5 months and only been dealing with the rapid heart beat for about two weeks. Is this a normal symptom of HCM? Is this something I should contact my Cardiologist about?

Pam Alexson
09-30-2005, 08:51 AM
Hi Lori,

Welcome to the HCMA and to the HCM world. Sorry to hear you are having some difficulties but, seems part of the whole HCM deal. Yes indeed you should definitely discuss these symptoms you are experiencing with your cardiologist. Could be various factors to be considered here and these symptoms could be from any one or several of those factors.

You do not say what your dose of atenolol is, do you know if you have a gradient or obstruction , have you seen a specialist , do you know your septal measurement .

The first thing that popped into my head was that maybe you need additional beta blocker in the evening as the dose may not be carrying you through the night. Another thought , do you by chance have sleep apnea , while considering the swelling ; are you perhaps slipping back and forth in degrees of acute CHF somewhat managing but like many of us effected at night and when we have been doing a bit too much for our hearts to handle? These questions need to be explored.

How long were you symptomatic of HCM before your diagnosis?

I know others will offer comment here and hope this helps you formulate a plan or list to talk with your cardio with. Continue to read here and ask all the questions that you have . You have found support and understanding , friendship here at the HCMA.

Best to you ,


09-30-2005, 02:02 PM
Hi Lori,

Your symptoms sound like what I experienced when I first became really symptomatic from HCM. Hopefully adjustments in medication will help in your case as they did in mine. Definitely speak to your cardiologist; the sooner the better!

Rob Thomas

10-01-2005, 06:00 AM
Hi Lori, I am 42 and also recently diagnosed with HCM - my symptoms were extra heartbeats over a period of 4 days. I sometimes get a rapid heart rate for a few seconds when I wake up but it's normally from a short nap rather than first thing in the morning. I have also had a faster heart rate before going to sleep but this has normally followed a late meal. I take the beta blocker bisoprolol and it is aimed at reducing left ventricular dysfunction by helping the heart to relax and therefore fill better - and this has worked a treat for me. Although I didn't suffer from any symptoms prior to the palpitation episode, I did have symptoms which I thought were normal. My beta blockers give me a wonderful sense of calm now and have stopped the occasional palpitation flutter that I have had in the past. I think I am lucky in finding the right medication that seems to suit me.

10-09-2005, 10:51 PM
That is really weird. I too get a racing heart when I wake up from a nap. I am not sure if I wake up because of the racing heart or if I wake up THEN my heart starts racing.
I also get night sweats pretty bad. I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me all night, and sometimes that doesn't even help. Unfortunately I can not remember if I had the sweats WITH the racing heart or not.

Strange how it happens after a nap though and not first thing in the morning.(For me).

Just thought I'd share.


Pam Alexson
10-10-2005, 08:42 AM
A possibility is that perhaps you had a nap because you were feeling very lethargic and in fact you might have problems with your blood sugar falling during the nap. Not to spur another issue for you but, perhaps if you could get your hands on a glucometer and check your blood sugars daily you could fathom through this problem. Your symptoms sound very similar to what I used to experience and they would happen after lunch in particular and especially if I ate too many carbs ( the carbs always made me feel a little more energetic but, bam then what you describe exactly would happen after a nap that seemed to be very needed after this pattern. )

After carefull self monitoring and written description of my symptoms and inspite of a long history of normal glycohemoglobin levels, the doc agreed to send me to an endocrinologist. Her insulin studies revealed 8 times the normal level of insulin= insulin resistant diabetis( hyperinsulimemia). Since then I was put on glucophage to help normalize the insulin levels and it also helps slow down the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract . That combined with better dietary choices have helped stabilize the problem and I have never needed insulin even when I have surgery and am not given the glucophage.

Now I am not saying that this is yours or anyones problem but it is more common then we realize and goes undetected in most people for years and years. My endocrin feels I was a diabetic more the 20 years before I was appropriately diagnosed and says this is the same for the majority Of hyperinsulimics. You will note that due to our HCM we seem to respond very poorly to high carb meals, much of this is due to the shared circulation component during digestion and that carbs require a lot of work( blood volume, increased heart rate,) to digest and send the carbs to storage for later use. Try having as little carbs as possible and eat more proteins, see how it makes you feel. I avoid most white foods and sugar laden foods and fare better for it.

Good luck with your investigation and hope you feel better.