What are the causes of heart palpitations & twitching during sleep?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart beating fast or have twitching symptoms while you sleep? You are not alone---many people experience these problems. This can be caused by a variety of issues that you may need to address as soon as possible.

Anytime you feel irregularities in your heart rate, you should seek professional advice about what could be going wrong. The information here is not a diagnosis of your particular symptoms and should not replace a doctor's visit. Always consult your family doctor if these problems persist.

Heart Palpitations

Many times, heart palpitations can be caused by a vitamin deficiency. If you're not getting enough calcium, magnesium or other important vitamins in your diet, it could cause your heart to quicken from time to time. Also, when you are dehydrated from exercising and not drinking enough water, you could have issues with heart palpitations. Excessive coffee and alcohol drinking can lead to dehydration. Many people who use alcohol too much have this problem because alcohol depletes your body of water.

Anxiety and Palpitations

Palpitations could also be caused by anxiety. Are you scared or worried frequently when you go to bed? Do you stress and think about all of your life problems right before going to sleep ? If so, that could be a reason why you're experiencing this problem. In an extreme case, you could be experiencing a panic attack.


Like heart palpitations, stress and anxiety can cause muscle twitching in your sleep. If you feel these involuntary twitching sensations in your face, legs, stomach area and other strange places, it could be because you are worrying and thinking too much when you sleep. Bedtime should be a time of rest for your mind, and your body responds accordingly.


If you feel a twitching around your heart, it could be what is called "fibrillation," which is when the heart muscles twitch. It could also just be the muscles above the heart that are moving intermittently. Some medical experts also say that twitching could be potentially related to rheumatoid arthritis.


Twitching and palpitations are both symptoms of a condition called hyperthyroidism. With this condition, your thyroid gland is producing too much of the thyroxine hormone, which quickens your heart and makes your metabolism work faster. If you are experiencing these two symptoms (palpitations and twitching) in combination with a sudden weight loss, enlarged thyroid gland in your neck and problems sleeping, this could potentially be your problem. You need to have this diagnosed by a medical doctor to be sure.


Finally, some medications have been known to cause heart palpitations and twitching, such as Levaquin and Advair (see more drugs listed below under "References"). Ask your doctor if your medication is causing these symptoms.