Can Anxiety Cause Heart Palpitations at Night? 10 Effective Anxiety’s Nightly Palpitations Solutions

Sometimes, we all suffer from anxiety. But, can anxiety cause heart palpitations at night? In the darkest stillness of the night, when the world slumbers and the mind battles its demons, a disconcerting dance unfolds within the confines of one’s chest. Heart palpitations, those erratic rhythms that taunt and disturb, can be a haunting manifestation of anxiety.

As the soul wrestles with its worries and fears, the body responds with a symphony of sensations, reminding us of the intricate dance between our mental and physical realms. Anxiety can cause nausea, heart palpitations, breathlessness, and conditions affecting almost every organ in the body.

But amidst the disquietude, a question arises: Can anxiety truly wield the power to orchestrate palpitations that echo through the night, or is there something deeper at play, something that beckons us to explore the enigmatic relationship between the mind and the heart?

can anxiety cause heart palpitations at night?


Can Anxiety Cause Heart Palpitations at Night?

Anxiety can cause heart palpitations at night. When experiencing anxiety, it can feel like your heart is racing, fluttering, pounding, or even skipping a beat. This happens because anxiety can trigger an increase in your heartbeat, particularly in response to stressful situations. Additionally, if you have an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive or persistent worry, you may also experience palpitations as a result.

When the shadows of the night cast their cloak upon us, anxiety can wield its unsettling influence over the rhythm of our hearts. In these moments, heart palpitations emerge as harbingers of the mind’s turmoil, manifesting as racing, fluttering, pounding, or skipped beats.

Whether triggered by specific stressors or stemming from an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent worry, these palpitations serve as a poignant reminder of the intricate interplay between our emotional well-being and the delicate cadence of our bodies.

Wake up heart pounding in the middle of the night

Waking up in the middle of the night with a pounding heart can be a distressing experience, with several potential causes at play. Anxiety and stress often contribute to this symptom, requiring stress management techniques and potential therapy.

There are several causes of waking up with a pounding heart in the middle of the night. We have described the causes along with ways to determine the underlying cause and potential prevention strategies in the table below:

Possible CausesHow to DeterminePrevention Strategies
Anxiety or stressEvaluate stress levels and
assess anxiety symptoms
Practice stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing,
meditation, and relaxation exercises. Seek therapy or counseling
Sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea, nightmares)Assess for other sleep disorder symptoms, such as snoring or disrupted sleepMaintain a regular sleep schedule, create a conducive sleep environment, practice good sleep hygiene, and consider consulting a sleep specialist for evaluation and treatment.
Medications or substances (e.g., caffeine, certain medications)Review medication usage and any recent changesConsult with a healthcare professional about potential alternatives or adjustments to medications. Avoid stimulating substances close to bedtime.
Heart-related issues (e.g., arrhythmias, heart disease)Evaluate personal and family medical history, presence of other symptoms, age, and risk factorsUndergo a comprehensive medical evaluation, including tests like ECG, echocardiogram, or Holter monitor, to assess for any underlying heart conditions. Follow recommended treatment plans and lifestyle modifications to manage heart health.
Hormonal changes (e.g., during menstrual cycle)Monitor menstrual cycle and associated symptomsTalk to a healthcare professional about managing hormonal changes, such as hormonal therapies or lifestyle adjustments, to alleviate symptoms.

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, may also be a factor, necessitating evaluation, and treatment by a sleep specialist. Medications or substances, heart-related issues, hormonal changes, and other factors can also trigger this sensation.

To prevent such episodes, it is crucial to establish a regular sleep routine, create a sleep-friendly environment, manage stress levels, and seek medical guidance to address any underlying conditions contributing to the symptom.

How do I know if my heart palpitations are from anxiety?

Determining whether your heart palpitations are caused by anxiety can be a helpful step in understanding your symptoms. When palpitations are linked to anxiety, they often exhibit specific characteristics. You may perceive your heart racing, fluttering, pounding, or even skipping a beat.

These sensations can be unsettling, but they are commonly associated with anxiety-related palpitations. Moreover, your heartbeat might increase in response to particular stressful situations, which further supports the connection between anxiety and palpitations.

It’s essential to note that anxiety disorders, involving excessive or persistent worry, can also contribute to palpitations. If you experience palpitations alongside ongoing anxiety symptoms, such as constant or overwhelming worry, it could be an indication of an anxiety disorder.

Seeking professional medical advice is advisable to receive an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan. They can help assess your symptoms, conduct any necessary tests, and guide managing anxiety-related palpitations effectively. Remember, a healthcare professional is best equipped to evaluate your situation and provide tailored advice.

Anxiety effects on the heart

While anxiety itself is not inherently bad for the heart in the long term, chronic or severe anxiety can have an impact on cardiovascular health. When anxiety becomes persistent and overwhelming, it can lead to physiological changes in the body that may contribute to heart-related concerns.

Anxiety can have various effects on the heart, which can be attributed to the physiological responses triggered by the body’s stress response. Some of these effects include:

  1. Rapid heart rate (tachycardia): Anxiety can cause the heart to beat faster than normal. In serious cases, this increased heart rate can interfere with the heart’s normal functioning and potentially increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
  2. Increased blood pressure: Anxiety can also elevate blood pressure. If chronic, sustained high blood pressure can lead to the development of coronary artery disease, which restricts blood flow to the heart. Additionally, high blood pressure can contribute to the weakening of the heart muscle over time, potentially leading to heart failure.
  3. Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias): Anxiety can trigger irregular heart rhythms, such as palpitations or skipped beats. While most of these are harmless and short-lived, severe or prolonged arrhythmias can have adverse effects on heart function.
  4. Constriction of blood vessels: During times of anxiety, blood vessels can constrict or narrow due to the release of stress hormones. This constriction can increase resistance to blood flow and raise blood pressure, potentially straining the heart.

During periods of intense anxiety, the body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure. Prolonged or frequent activation of the body’s stress response can potentially strain the heart and blood vessels over time.

Moreover, individuals with anxiety disorders may be more prone to certain lifestyle factors that can negatively affect heart health, such as poor sleep, unhealthy eating habits, reduced physical activity, and an increased likelihood of smoking or substance abuse as coping mechanisms.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with anxiety and its impact on the heart can vary. If you have concerns about how anxiety may be affecting your cardiovascular health, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your specific situation, provide appropriate guidance, and help you manage both your anxiety and your heart health effectively.

I can’t sleep because of my heartbeat

Experiencing difficulty sleeping due to an elevated heartbeat can be frustrating and disruptive to your overall well-being. If your racing heartbeat is preventing you from getting adequate sleep, there are several steps you can take to address the issue.

Firstly, it’s important to identify and address any underlying causes contributing to the elevated heart rate, such as anxiety, stress, or certain medications. Implementing relaxation techniques before bed, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help calm the mind and body.

Creating a comfortable sleep environment, practicing good sleep hygiene, and establishing a consistent bedtime routine can also promote better sleep. If the problem persists, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional who can further evaluate the issue and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

How to stop heart palpitations due to anxiety

To stop heart palpitations caused by anxiety, there are various strategies you can employ, including:

1. Coping with stress:

Adopt stress management techniques such as engaging in hobbies, practicing relaxation exercises, journaling, or seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist to reduce overall stress levels.

Stress management plays a crucial role in reducing anxiety-related heart palpitations. There are various techniques to cope with stress effectively:

  • Identify stressors: Recognize the sources of stress in your life. This could include work-related pressures, personal relationships, or financial concerns. Awareness allows you to address specific stressors more effectively.
  • Time management: Prioritize tasks and create a well-structured schedule. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and delegate when possible. This approach can help alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Relaxation techniques: Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery. These techniques help calm the mind and reduce the physical symptoms of stress.
  • Self-care: Take time for yourself and engage in activities that you enjoy. This could include hobbies, spending time in nature, reading, listening to music, or practicing mindfulness. Engaging in self-care activities can provide a much-needed break from stress and promote overall well-being.
  • Social support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your feelings and experiences can provide emotional support and perspective. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network can help alleviate stress and foster a sense of connection.

2. Diaphragmatic breathing

Practice deep breathing exercises by inhaling deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise, and exhaling slowly through your mouth. This technique can help regulate your breathing and promote relaxation.

Also known as deep belly breathing or abdominal breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is a relaxation technique that can help regulate breathing patterns and reduce anxiety-related palpitations. Here’s how to practice it:

  • Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  • Take a slow, deep inhalation through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise as you fill your lungs with air.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, letting the air out completely.
  • Focus on the sensation of your breath and the movement of your abdomen.
  • Continue this deep breathing pattern for several minutes, gradually relaxing your body and mind.

Practicing diaphragmatic breathing regularly, especially during times of heightened anxiety, can help regulate your heartbeat, induce relaxation, and reduce the occurrence of palpitations.

3. Exercising regularly

Engage in regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercises, yoga, or tai chi, to reduce anxiety levels, improve cardiovascular health, and release endorphins, which can positively impact mood.

  1. Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being, including reducing anxiety-related heart palpitations. Here are some important aspects to consider:
    • Choose activities you enjoy: Find physical activities that you genuinely enjoy, whether it’s jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, or playing a sport. Engaging in activities that you find fun and fulfilling increases motivation and makes it easier to maintain a regular exercise routine.
    • Start gradually: If you’re new to exercise or have been inactive, start with low-impact activities and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. This approach helps prevent injuries and allows your body to adapt to the demands of exercise.
    • Aim for consistency: Strive for regularity in your exercise routine. It’s generally recommended to engage in moderate aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week or vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week. Breaking it down into smaller sessions throughout the week is also effective.
    • Incorporate other forms of exercise: Alongside aerobic activities, including strength training exercises at least two days a week. Strength training improves overall muscle tone and contributes to better cardiovascular health.
    • Listen to your body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. If you experience palpitations or discomfort during exercise, consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for you.

Regular exercise helps release endorphins, reduces stress, promotes better sleep, and improves overall heart health, all of which can contribute to reducing anxiety-related heart palpitations.

4. Getting enough sleep:

Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and prioritize adequate sleep duration. Avoid stimulating activities or screens close to bedtime to promote better sleep quality.

Sufficient sleep is vital for overall health and can help reduce anxiety-related heart palpitations. Here are some tips for improving your sleep quality:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and promotes more restful sleep.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by keeping it dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Use earplugs, eye masks, or white noise machines if needed.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene: Develop a relaxing bedtime routine that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. Avoid stimulating activities and electronic screens close to bedtime, as the blue light emitted can interfere with sleep.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment: Invest in a supportive mattress, comfortable pillows, and breathable bedding to enhance your sleep comfort. Ensure good ventilation in the bedroom for optimal air quality.
  • Limit daytime napping: If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try to limit daytime napping or keep it short and early in the day.

By prioritizing and implementing healthy sleep habits, you can improve sleep quality, reduce fatigue, and minimize the occurrence of palpitations.

5. Meditation

Incorporate meditation into your daily routine to quiet the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of calm. Mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, or focused meditation techniques can be helpful in managing anxiety-related palpitations.

Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of thoughts that may be contributing to anxiety and palpitations. Here’s how to incorporate meditation into your routine:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space: Choose a calm environment where you can sit or lie down without distractions.
  • Start with deep breathing: Begin by taking a few deep breaths to relax your body and focus your attention.
  • Choose a meditation technique: There are various meditation techniques you can try, such as mindfulness meditation, guided meditation, or loving-kindness meditation. Experiment with different styles to find what resonates with you.
  • Focus on the present moment: Direct your attention to the present moment, observing your thoughts and sensations without judgment. If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the present.
  • Practice regularly: Consistency is key. Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.

Meditation helps promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and cultivate a sense of inner calm. Regular practice can help manage stress and decrease the frequency and intensity of palpitations.

6. Pursed-lip breathing

Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale gently through pursed lips. This technique can help regulate breathing patterns, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Pursed-lip breathing is a simple breathing technique that can help regulate your breathing pattern, slow down your heart rate, and promote relaxation. Here’s how to practice it:

  • Sit in a comfortable position: Relax your shoulders and jaw.
  • Breathe in through your nose: Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose for a count of two.
  • Pucker your lips: Exhale slowly through pursed lips, as if you are blowing out a candle, for a count of four.
  • Repeat the cycle: Continue this pattern of inhalation through the nose and exhalation through pursed lips for several minutes.

Pursed-lip breathing helps to prolong exhalation, which activates the body’s relaxation response and can reduce the intensity of palpitations during anxious moments.

7. Mindful movement practices such as Tai chi, yoga, or other mindful movement

Practices like tai chi, yoga, or other mindful movement activities combine gentle physical movements, controlled breathing, and focused attention. These practices can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Here’s what to know:

  • Tai chi: Tai chi is a low-impact martial art that consists of slow, fluid movements combined with deep breathing and meditation. It improves balance, flexibility, and overall well-being.
  • Yoga: Yoga incorporates physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation.

Explore mindful movement activities like tai chi, yoga, or qigong, which combine physical movement, deep breathing, and mindfulness. These practices can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and enhance the mind-body connection.

8. Healthy lifestyle:

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to reducing anxiety-related heart palpitations. This includes maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Adequate hydration is also important, so ensure you drink enough water throughout the day.

Regular physical activity, such as engaging in aerobic exercises, can help alleviate anxiety and promote overall well-being.

Additionally, practicing good sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulating activities close to bedtime can improve sleep quality and reduce palpitations.

9. Avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption

Caffeine and alcohol can act as stimulants and exacerbate heart palpitations. It is advisable to limit or avoid the consumption of beverages or foods containing high levels of caffeine, such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. Similarly, alcohol consumption should be moderated or avoided as it can disrupt heart rhythm and contribute to palpitations. Be mindful of your intake and consider healthier alternatives or decaffeinated options.

10. Managing underlying medical conditions:

If you have underlying medical conditions that contribute to heart palpitations, it is essential to manage them through proper treatment and regular check-ups. It can help you to stop falling sick due to anxiety.

Follow the recommended treatment plan provided by your healthcare professional and attend scheduled appointments to monitor your condition. This may involve taking prescribed medications, making lifestyle modifications, or undergoing specific therapies.

By effectively managing these conditions, you can reduce the likelihood of palpitations and maintain better heart health. Remember, these strategies are general guidelines, and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.


Experiencing heart palpitations at night due to anxiety can be distressing and disruptive to one’s sleep. Symptoms of anxiety-related palpitations include a racing, pounding, or skipping heartbeat. These palpitations can be triggered by stress, specific situations, or underlying anxiety disorders.

To address this issue, it is important to focus on managing stress through techniques such as relaxation exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, and regular exercise. Creating a sleep-friendly environment, practicing good sleep hygiene, and prioritizing sufficient sleep can also help alleviate palpitations.

Additionally, exploring mindfulness practices like meditation, pursed-lip breathing, and mindful movement activities such as tai chi or yoga can further promote relaxation and reduce anxiety-related palpitations. It is crucial to seek professional advice if the symptoms persist or significantly impact daily life.


Dr. David Barlow

David is a well-known researcher and author in the anxiety disorders area with extensive research on their etiology, nature, and treatment. He started the site to share his real-life experiences on the management of anxiety disorders with successful diagnosis and treatment being his motivation to write or review the content on this site.