I KEEP BEING JERKED AWAKE BY A POUNDING HEART AT NIGHT. WHAT’S GOING ON?
ANSWER Assuming you’re not postcoital and loving life, figuring out what’s got your heart all a-flutter is a process of elimination. “A pounding heart at night can be down to a number of things, from stress and anxiety to a food intolerance or even too much caffeine before bed,” says senior cardiac nurse Christopher Allen. Or medication could be to blame, so let your doctor know and they might change your prescription. If you often skip meals or take meds to control your blood sugar, your glucose levels dropping too low can make your heart pound. Ruled out all of the above? An overactive thyroid can cause irregular heart rate, as can some heart conditions. “Heart palpitations are usually quite innocuous in people who are otherwise fit and healthy,” adds Allen. “But it’s best to get checked out by your GP.”