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Lindsay Bruce asked...

I recently awoke during the night with what I felt was a racing heartbeat.

Tags: heart , Stress

I recently awoke during the night with what I felt was a racing heartbeat.

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The answer

The sensation of a racing heart can simply be the result of stress or anxiety causing an increase in the normal heart rate or may indicate that for a short time your heart went into an unusual rhythm, most likely one referred to as SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). Your exertions and alcohol intake may have led to this event occurring. A single episode of SVT, which stops on its own, is nothing to worry about but if you experience the same sensation again then it would be wise to see your GP who would probably organise an ECG (heart trace) and possibly a 24 hour or 7 day ECG to see if it could 'capture' the abnormal rhythm when it occurred.

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