Chest Pain

Chest pain when lying down to sleep:

Chest pain when lying down to sleep is widespread, but its causes are different in everyone. Many people experience unexpected pain in chest at night and rush to the doctor for a checkup. The chest can hurt for several reasons, and the pain feels like;

  • Severe pain
  • Burning 
  • Searing 
  • Crushing 
  • Heavy chest pain 
  • Deep
  • Vice like tight 

Causes of chest pain when lying down:

Causes of the chest pain when lying down to sleep are the following;

  • Obesity:

Excess body in people causes chest pain at night. Extra 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.

  • Angina:

When the heart muscles cannot get enough blood, it can hurt the chest at night. 

  • Herat attack:

When heart muscles are destroyed, blood goes down due to blockage of arteries. It causes severe chest pain, which needs immediate medical care or attention. 

  • Pericarditis:

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

  • Myocarditis:

When the heart muscles are inflamed, it can 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 breathe. 

  • Pleurisy:

When an inflammation appears in the lungs and chest wall lining, the pain increases when inhaling or coughing.

  • 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, stop the lungs from functioning, and causes chest pain. 

  • Panic attack:

Sudden panic attacks like fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, and heavy sweating. Panic attacks include nausea, dizziness, and intense fear. 

  • Injury:

Any injury like a muscle strain. When you are sleeping, turning, twisting, and moving, it causes intense discomfort and chest pain.

  • Peptic ulcer:

When the lining of the stomach breaks down, the ulcer can occur in the small intestine, stomach, and esophagus. Ulcers occur to infection by Helicobacter pylori which causes pain in the chest and disturbs the sleep cycle.

  • Pulmonary embolism:

When the blood clots form and block the arteries of the lungs. Blood flow towards the tissue of the lungs blocks it’s called pulmonary embolism. Pain like a heart attack or severe pain and chest tightening causes pulmonary embolism. 

  • Pulmonary hypertension:

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

  • Collapsed lungs:

When the air leaked into the air space between the lung cavity and chest wall, causing collapsed lungs known as pneumothorax. It can cause difficulty in breathing and severe chest pain

  • Bronchospasm:

Muscles of the lung airway tighten or constrict and reduce the airway’s diameter. When you breathe deeply, it causes pain.

Pain can get worsen with breathing and lying down. 

  • Gallstone:

Gallstone stores bile which is a digestive fluid. Sometimes this digestive fluid becomes hardened and stone formed. And this condition can cause chest pain when you lie down to sleep. 

  • Pancreatitis:

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

  • Dysphagia:

Swallowing disorder irritates the food that enters the esophagus or food tube. Affects the top of the throat and down the esophagus.

  • Heartburn:

Back up of stomach acid into the food tube (esophagus) that connects the throat to the stomach. This acid can disturb or irritate the lining of the stomach and causes burning pain.  

  • Stress and anxiety:

Mental health conditions also affect sleeping and cause chest pain while sleeping. 

Symptoms of chest pain when lying down:

Signs and symptoms of chest pain when lying down can vary from person to person according to the cause. Some common symptoms are the following;

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills 
  • Wheezing
  • Severe cough 
  • Chest pain and chest tightness
  • Fever 
  • Anxiety 
  • Low pulse rate
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitation 
  • Shoulder or back pain 
  • Sweating 
  • Fatigue 
  • Sudden pain in the upper side of the stomach 
  • Loss of vision 

Chest pain when lying down on the right side:

Lying down on the right side because of many reasons like;

  1.  Stress and anxiety
  2. Muscles strain 
  3. Trauma 
  4. Costochondritis 
  5. Rib fracture 
  6. Pneumothorax
  7. Pleurisy
  8. Pneumonia 
  9. Plural effusion 
  10. Pulmonary hypertension 
  11. Pulmonary embolism 
  12. Lung cancer 
  13. Chest tumor
  14. Heart disease
  15. Shingles 
  16. Heartburn 
  17. Live issue
  18. Gallstone 
  19. Pancreatitis
  20. Chest wall or rib cage injury
  21. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) 
  22. Covid-19

Sleeping position can worsen chest pain. 

When to see the doctor:

When you visit or notice the following symptoms, then go to the doctor for immediate medical care or attention;

  • Sudden and frequent heavy pain in the chest
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • A crushing sensation of pain on the breastbone
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Cold sweating 
  • Lightheadedness 

Seek immediate medical attention if you have;

  • Angina
  • Heart attack
  • Pulmonary embolism 
  • Pneumonia
  • Pleurisy
  • Pericarditis 

Risk factors of chest pain when lying down:

Risk factors of chest pain are the following;

  • Aging  
  • Genetics or family history 
  • Obesity 
  • High cholesterol
  • Drinking 
  • High blood pressure or hypertension 
  • Diabetes 
  • Stress 
  • Poor sleep
  • Poor posture 
  • Smoking or alcohol 

Treatment of chest pain when lying down:

  1. Medications:

In many cases, pain can be relieved with several painkillers. Doctors prescribe you medicines according to your condition and the severity of the pain. Some medications are the following;

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Nitroglycerine 
  • Aspirin 
  • Thrombolytics 
  • ACE inhibitor
  • Calcium channel blockers 
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood thinners
  • Antibiotics
  • Antacids
  • H2 blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Antivirals 
  • Acid suppressing medications 
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgeries:

The following surgeries are used to reduce chest pain, and condition are;

  1. Heart bypass surgery
  2. Repair of an aorta aneurysm 
  3. Removal of cancerous cells
  4. Removal of gallstone 
  5. Coronary angioplasty
  • 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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