Why does my heart skip beats when i lay down?

If you’ve ever been lying in bed, trying to drift off into dreamland, only to be interrupted by your heart skipping a beat- or two-, well then my friend, do I have some information for you. No need to panic just yet, though; it’s not as scary as it sounds.

The Science Behind It

To understand why this happens, let’s take a look at our bodies’ incredible systems that keep everything working in perfect harmony (most of the time anyways). Our hearts are controlled by an electrical impulse system that regulates the contractions of the cardiac muscles helping pump blood throughout our body (Boring Alert!).

The sinoatrial node is where the electricity begins its journey and stimulates other areas within the heart during each heartbeat cycle. This is what we call our natural pacemaker so think of it like DJ Sinoatrial keeping everyone on beat (cue techno music).

When we lay down flat on our backs or sides (yes stomach sleepers you’re excluded from this fun) these electrical impulses can change slightly causing brief pauses before resuming normal patterns again(Electrical Hiccups anyone?). These are called premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) which 99%of cases are benign but they can make us jump out of bed thinking an angry Badger may be lurking under there.

That said if PVCs occur frequently through out day/genetic history/ prior energy drink addiction tell dad his FRS radio with alligator clip may come in handy when popping popcorn.(Fact)

What Causes PVCs?

There may not always be a clear reason why someone has occasional skipped beats(yawn) however certain lifestyle factors could play apart:

  • Too much caffeine
  • Nicotine intake
  • Alcohol abuse(ain’t no party fouls here!)
    Stress and Anxiety (how ’bout them apples).

Sometimes PVCs can be a sign of an underlying heart condition so it’s important to consult with a doctor, especially if other symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath are present (this means you armchair WebMD warriors).

How Can We Prevent These Electrical Hiccups?

First things first, live that healthy lifestyle by exercising daily and eating well. Sometimes dehydration can lower blood pressure which makes our hearts work harder causing electrical changes in the heart (Hydration is key people!). Reducing stress/anxiety may also help because let’s face it life can be STRESSFUL!!!

However, many times these PVCs require no treatment because they stop quickly and don’t harm the body.

For others( Me: wave frantically), treatment options include medication(thank Zod for modern medicine!) & avoiding specific activities that increase your risk bed hiccups(review: too cute?). This depends on each individual patient’s diagnosis.

SO bottom line- talk with your doc/ trust their guidance(paws crossed)!!

Bedtime Solutions

Here are some bedtime tips to tame those wild beats:

  1. Pillows Galore : Supporting head/back/knees using pillows may reduce strain on cardiovascular system.
  2. Sleeping Posish Change-up – A small percentage of individuals report reduced frequency when sleeping on stomach or right side only(pro tip-alert).
  3. Breathe Deeply Against Your Diaphragm – slow deep breathing prior since diaphragm acts like pump moving blood /oxygen into circulatory system.(sounds annoying but it worked for me AND gas mileage is amazing)
    4.Nix those mood lighty thangs(Un-‘sexy Darkrooms’ alert)- keeping environment dark fosters natural release Melatonin.
    5.Deep Thoughts Followed By Light Reading aka books FTW – stimulate interest/imagination/Relaxxx(
    giggles)(Please avoid emotionally charged/loud material and lets all take a deeeeep breath.


In conclusion, PVCs are typically not too big of a deal so rest assured that you won’t keel over in the middle of the night. However, if you’re experiencing more frequent or concerning symptoms like chest pain (paging Dr. Grey) please don’t wait & speak with your doctor for some clarity! Maintaining healthy habits along with trying out bedtime solutions may help make sleep more peaceful, (Jamaican accent)chill n’ relaxing mon(. Phew now excuse me I’m off to nap on my stomach (perks yo!)

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