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Heart rate normal during waking hours. Rapid upon waking from night's sleep. What's the cause?

By Anonymous May 9, 2018 - 12:31pm
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Heart rate normal during waking hours. Rapid upon waking from night's sleep. What's the cause?

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing!

We cannot tell you what the particular cause is in your case - you will need a medical evaluation for that.

However, you may have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops breathing for short pauses in the middle of the night, breathes shallowly, snorts, snores, gasps for air, or breathes infrequently.

It could be contributing to a great number of health issues. Those disruptions through the night may last 30 seconds to several minutes and occur hundreds of times. This results in a lack of oxygen to all tissues, including the brain.

Sleep apnea can be tricky to diagnose, as there is no blood test for it. What's needed is for someone to be sleeping in the same room to notice the snoring, gasping, snorting, and pauses through the night, in order to raise concern.

Some people have mild sleep apnea that might be subtle, in that their snoring or pauses do not wake up others, yet they themselves wake feeling tired and unrested without knowing why. A rapid pulse may also be a symptom.

Others with more severe sleep apnea are often told their snoring sounds like a freight train, or their own gasping for air wakes them up, such that they feel like they were choking.

According to the National Institutes of Health, obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form, with central sleep apnea being less common.

Someone with obstructive sleep apnea has an airway that becomes partially or fully blocked during sleep due to excess weight, to large tonsils compressing the area, or to anatomical defects.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the part of the brain that handles breathing does not correctly communicate with the muscle required for breathing, resulting in pauses or infrequent breaths while sleeping.

When the body receives less oxygen than it needs, it responds by releasing the hormones involved with stress such as cortisol and adrenaline.

The increase in these hormones coupled with a lack of oxygen can put a person with sleep apnea at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeats, a high heart rate and heart failure. These people often also wake up with a headache, are very tired, and experience brain fog through the day, due to this lack of oxygen and quality sleep.

Do you sleep in the same room as someone? Ask them if they are aware of your sleep patterns.

You may be dealing with something else, also. You will need to talk to your doctor to know more.

May 9, 2018 - 2:08pm
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