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Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms at Night

Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms at Night


If you experience lethargy during the day, you may experience symptoms of sleep apnea (sleep disorder) and atrial fibrillation (Afib) at night. Both of these can contribute to fatigue. Sleep apnea can induce irregular heartbeats, which can develop into a potentially dangerous condition.

Two of the most common atrial fibrillation symptoms at night are chest fluttering and faster heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute).

Atrial fibrillation is a kind of abnormal heartbeat characterized by a rapid and irregular heart rhythm. This type of arrhythmia increases the risk of blood clot formation in the atrium of the heart. Afib increases the likelihood of heart problems. When you have atrial fibrillation, your heart cannot pump blood in a typical manner. It raises your risk of having a stroke and has the potential to bring on heart failure.

Atrial fibrillation occurs when the atria, the heart’s upper chambers, beat rapidly and irregularly, out of sync with the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart. Many individuals with Afib do not feel anything. In contrast, Afib can induce palpitations, a rapid, pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, and weakness. Some people exhibit these atrial fibrillation symptoms at night.        

To learn more about Afib symptoms at night, continue reading this post. The post discusses the Afib at night symptoms. Moreover, it also explores why Afib happens at night.

Atrial Fibrillation Symptoms at Night

Atrial fibrillation symptoms can occur at any time of day or night. Since you are more relaxed at night, your symptoms of Afib at night may differ from those you experience during the day.

Afib symptoms include:

1. Chest Pain

Angina is a form of chest pain resulting from inadequate blood supply to the heart. There is a chance that you will encounter squeezing or pressure. The discomfort with the upper back may extend to the arms, neck, or ears. Angina symptoms may be temporary or persistent.

2. Dizziness

If your heart is not adequately pumping blood, other organs, such as your brain, may suffer. You may feel dizzy if you don’t receive enough blood. Afib can produce mild or severe dizziness, which, at its worst, can cause nausea and vomiting. Even the most severe bouts can result in syncope or fainting, a momentary loss of consciousness.

3. Fatigue

The heart cannot supply the rest of your body with enough oxygenated blood if it fails to work properly. Insufficient blood flow can produce fatigue even when at rest or performing light work.

4. Palpitations

Numerous individuals suffer chest palpitations during episodes of atrial fibrillation. An erratic heartbeat produces these.

5. Shortness of Breath

If the heart cannot pump blood as effectively as it should, fluid can build in the lungs, making it harder to breathe. It might be difficult to breathe normally even when at rest or performing routine activities when afflicted with atrial fibrillation.

Some other atrial fibrillation symptoms at night include heavy breathing while sleeping, night sweats (excessive sweating while sleeping), waking up with a peculiar feeling in the chest, and waking up feeling anxious.

Why Does Afib Happen at Night

The neurons in the body that regulate the heart rate are often in sleep mode during the night. It indicates that your heart rate is often lower at rest. Atrial fibrillation can develop at night when the heart’s pacemaker is stimulated from a location other than the heart.

Sleep apnea may also cause Afib at night. It causes abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system, and these changes directly affect the right side of the heart. These consequences persist after a sleep apnea episode for an extended period.

Risk Factors Associated with AFib at Night

1. Sleep Problems

Atrial fibrillation episodes have been linked to insufficient quality sleep, which is frequently caused by sleep apnea. People having difficulty with sleeping are more at risk of developing atrial fibrillation than those who do not.

2. Alcohol Consumption

The heart muscle might weaken when drinking excessive alcohol, especially in one sitting. It makes it more challenging for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. It increases the likelihood that the heart will experience an episode of Afib at night.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine, a powerful stimulant, has been proven to cause Afib in some individuals. Excessive caffeine intake, especially during the evening or nighttime, increases the risk of Afib at night.

4. Excessive Physical Activity

Since activity causes the heart to beat faster, even a brief workout might trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation in certain individuals. Afib is more prone to occur during strenuous exercise or when the body is dehydrated.

5. Dehydration

Often, atrial fibrillation is caused by dehydration, which can result from excessive coffee or alcohol use or insufficient water intake. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, so if you do not drink enough water, you will become dehydrated, which can cause atrial fibrillation.

6. Stress

Stress can trigger Afib because it causes the release of chemicals associated with stress. In addition, persons under a great deal of stress may have difficulties sleeping or consume more caffeine or alcohol, all of which can trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Electrocardiograms (ECG) are the most prevalent method for diagnosing Afib. The screening procedure is painless. Electrodes are placed on the wrists and ankles of a patient lying on their back for an electrocardiogram, and the heart’s electrical activity is then measured. During the test, an experienced technician will examine the ECG readout to determine whether an irregular heartbeat is present.

The treatment for atrial fibrillation symptoms at night is intended to slow down or restore your heartbeat’s regular rhythm. Since atrial fibrillation increases your risk of blood clots, you should undertake heart-healthy lifestyle modifications.

Atrial fibrillation may be treated with medications, therapies that reset the heartbeat, or catheter-based procedures that block incorrect cardiac signals.


Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart rhythm abnormality. Afib may be an intermittent or persistent condition. Even though Afib does not typically pose an immediate threat to a person’s life, it is a significant medical condition that must be managed to reduce the chance of a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation patients frequently experience sleep apnea. You should consult the physician if you awaken in the middle of the night with atrial fibrillation symptoms.

Patients with Afib are more likely to experience a heart attack or heart failure. It has been related to severe health issues like blood clots and strokes. Consult with the doctor immediately if you suspect experiencing atrial fibrillation symptoms at night, including sweating, palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pressure or pain.  Feel free to consult with our specialists at HG Analytics. Skilled experts are proficient in providing quality care.

At HG Analytics, our objective is to give you complete care and support so that you can recover from Afib and restore your health. Our specialists can propose a treatment plan for your atrial fibrillation based on the symptoms you’re experiencing and how well you’re doing overall. Treatment for atrial fibrillation at HGA also focuses on restoring your heart rate and rhythm to lessen the symptoms.

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