Chest Pain

Chest pain at night while sleeping

Chest pain at night while sleeping may be due to any minor cause like stress or indigestion. Sometimes the pain might occur due to severe problems like a heart attack or pulmonary emulsion. One should always take chest pain seriously. Immediately take medical attention if the pain can withstand more than a few minutes. Chest pain may feel like;

  • Crushing 
  • Burning 
  • Searing 
  • Tight such as vice
  • Heavy
  • Deep 

Causes of chest pain while sleeping:

  • Heart-related causes:

Several heart conditions can cause pain in the chest at night while sleeping. 

  • Angina:

When heart muscles cannot get enough blood

  • Herat attack 

Heart muscles are destroyed, and blood goes down due to the blockage of arteries. It causes severe chest pain that requires immediate medical care and attention.

  • Pericarditis:

When the outer two layers of the heart get inflamed, the pain worsens when you breathe deeply or lie down immediately.

  • Myocarditis:

When the heart muscles are inflamed and cause abnormal or irregular rhythms.

  • Aortic dissection:

When the main artery separates from the heart and the aorta tears or ruptures, it can cause chest pain when you sleep.

Symptoms of the heart issues are;

  • Irregular heartbeats 
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Angina 
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue 
  • Sudden chest, back, or stomach pain
  • Vision loss
  • Low pulse rate  
  • Respiratory-related causes:

Some lung conditions also cause back and chest pain.

  • Pleurisy:

Inflammation in the lungs and chest wall lining increases the pain when the person inhales or coughs)

  • Lung cancer:

A tumor in the lung that causes chest pain while sleeping. Abnormal cell growth can interfere with the healthy or proper functioning of the lungs. Chest pain due to cancer increases with coughing or breathing.

  • Pulmonary emulsion:

When a lung artery is blocked, it can stop the blood supply and prevent the lungs from functioning, causing chest pain.

  • Pulmonary embolism:

When blood clots are formed and block the lungs’ arteries, blood flow towards the tissue of the lungs is stopped. This condition is called pulmonary embolism. Pain like heart attack and chest tightening are the causes of pulmonary embolism.

  • Pulmonary hypertension:

It is high blood pressure in the lung’s pulmonary arteries. It causes an abnormal heart heartbeat with a tight feeling in the chest.

  • Collapsed lungs:

An abnormal air collection between the thin tissue layer that covers the chest cavity and lungs results in a complete collapse of the lungs, known as pneumothorax.

  • Bronchospasm:

 In bronchospasm, muscles of the lung airway tighten or constricts and reduce the diameter of the airways. When you breathe deeply, it causes pain.

Pain can get worsen with breathing. Symptoms of respiratory issues are;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Severe cough 
  • Chest pain and chest tightness
  • Fever 
  • Anxiety 
  • Low pulse rate
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation 
  • Chills 
  • Shoulder or back pain 
  • Sweating 
  • Digestion-related causes:
  • Gallstone:

Gallstone stores bile, a digestive fluid. Sometimes it becomes hardened, and stone is formed. It can cause chest pain while sleeping at night.

  • Pancreatitis:

When the pancreas gets inflamed and causes pain, it is called pancreatitis. 

  • Peptic ulcer:

When the lining of the stomach breaks down, the ulcer can occur in the small intestine, stomach, and esophagus. The ulcer occurs due to an infection caused by Helicobacter pylori which causes pain in the chest and disturbs the sleep pattern while sleeping at night.

  • Dysphagia:

It is a swallowing disorder. It affects the top of the throat and down the esophagus.

  • Heartburn:

It may occur due to the backup of stomach acid into the food tube (esophagus) that connects the throat with the stomach. This acid causes irritation in the stomach lining, resulting in burning pain.

Symptom of digestion-related causes;

  • Bloating 
  • Hiccups 
  • Burping
  • Nausea
  • Black stool
  • Heartburn
  • Severe chest pain 
  • Crushing or burning pain sensation   
  • Mental health-related causes:

Mental health conditions also affect sleeping and cause chest pain while sleeping. Reasons for disturbing mental health are;

  • Anxiety 
  • Stress

Symptoms include;

  • Nausea
  • Sweating 
  • Palpitation 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Chest pain 
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Other causes:
  • Obesity:e

Excessive fat in the body causes chest pain at night. Extra body weight can put pressure on the lungs and diaphragm.

  • Costochondritis:

Inflammation in the cartilage that connects the breastbone (sternum) to the ribs can cause pain in the chest. 

  • Panic attack:

Sudden panic attacks like fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, and heavy sweating. Panic attacks include nausea, dizziness, and intense fear. Symptoms of a panic attack are;

  • Palpitation 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Shortness of breath)
  • Injury:

Any injury like a muscle strain. In contrast, sleeping, turning, twisting, and moving causes intense discomfort and increases chest pain.

Risk factors of chest pain while sleeping:

Risk factors of chest pain are the following;

  • Age 
  • Genetics
  • Obesity 
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Drinking 
  • High blood pressure or hypertension 
  • Diabetes 
  • Stress 
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor posture 

When to see the doctor:

Consult the doctor for immediate medical care or attention when you notice the following symptoms;

  • Sudden heavy pain in the chest
  • Nausea
  • Crushing sensation on the breastbone
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Cold sweating 
  • Lightheadedness 

Treatment of chest pain while sleeping:

Treatment depends on the condition or situation and the severity of the pain.

  • Medications:

Pain can be  in many cases with over-the-counter medications, which are;

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Aspirin and nitroglycerine
  • Thrombolytic 
  • ACE inhibitor
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood thinners
  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • H2 blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Antivirals 
  • Acid suppressing medications 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgeries:

Surgeries that can help in reducing pain and condition are;

  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Removal of gallstone 
  • Coronary angioplasty 
  • Repair of an aorta aneurysm 
  • Removal of cancerous cells
  • Lifestyle modification:

Lifestyle change can also be beneficial for treating chest pain and giving you a good and sound sleep. For example;

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes before sleeping 
  • Adjust sleep posture 
  • Manage stress level
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid fast and fatty spicy foods 
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet 
  • Change the dietary choices 
  • Change your lifestyle 
  • Improve habits 
  • Avoid tobacco 


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