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Pamela Hunt asked...

I have a strange fluttering feeling in my heart area?

I am awakened by a fluttering and strange feeling in the heart area but my pulse is normal?

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The answer

It is common for people to be more aware of their heartbeat while lying quietly in bed, particularly if you have difficulty getting to sleep or are anxious. The fact that you are awakened by a flutter in your chest but your pulse then feels normal could be due to a stressful moment in a dream, but could also be caused by a short burst of genuine palpitations which have passed by the time you feel your pulse. These brief flutters may be a usually harmless run of extra beats known as an 'ectopic' beats, but it could also be an indicator of the start of other arrhythmias such as 'atrial fibrillation' or 'atrial flutter' which do need medical attention.

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