Q. Does heart rate increase normally at night?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 13, 2019

Hello doctor,

I have a question about my heart rate when I have been sleeping. I will occasionally see on my heart rate tracker that my heart rate will spike at night to average around 130 to 160 a lot during the night. But I am still sleeping, and it does not wake me up, and I am worried something is up. Kindly explain.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Are you overweight? Do you snore or have obstructive sleep apnea? Now we have to investigate whether this elevation in heart rate shown by a device is sinus tachycardia, artifacts or cardiac arrhythmia. So, you need further evaluation to diagnose. Cardiac arrhythmia without any symptoms and only during symptoms is a less likely possibility. So, either you get Holter attached which is 24 hour ECG monitoring or Alivecor kardia monitor which also shows ECG tracing. Either of these will help us to reach some conclusions. I hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.

Thank you doctor,

I do snore, and I weight 187 pounds, so I am not sure if that is considered overweight or not, but I do suffer from anxiety which I do not know if this would contribute to this because I was asleep and did not feel anxious last night.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Calculate your BMI from your weight and height, and see if it is more than 24.9. So, presence snoring suggests the possibility of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is frequently associated with a fall in oxygen saturation at night, which may secondarily lead to tachycardia. Have a look into other symptoms like morning headaches, excessive day time sleepiness, episode of choking, or awakenings at night may be witnessed by others.

This is not related to anxiety, but since it occurs only during the night, it is probably a sleep-related disorder. So, either of Holter monitoring, Alivecor kardia monitor, which is a portable device or sleep study is an option. Try to have a healthy lifestyle and loose some weight if it falls in the overweight category.

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