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Question
Posted by: Ada | 2020/06/20

Heart-stopping-like sensation while meditating/falling asleep

Hi all, I’ve been meditating for 1,5 years now, every day for about 7-15 minutes. A couple of weeks ago I had my first 30 minutes long meditation (it was a guided visualization). In the last maybe 10 minutes of the practice, I felt like my heart skipped a beat. I didn’t really care about it then and just kept going. The same sensation occurred a couple of times after, in the same situation (the end of the meditation). I started to really worry about it. The feeling became stronger and now makes my body flutter every time I meditate, ruining my practice. Since I realized something is not right, the sensation started to haunt me at night, right before falling asleep. I'm afraid of it, my sleep is very bad and I wake up almost every hour. On the same days I started meditating for longer I also started Wim Hoff's breathing technique. When this happened to me at night for the first time I stopped this practice cause I thought it might be in some kind related. After it kept happening to me for a couple of days in a row, I called the doctor. He thinks it's stress related to moving out of the house in 2 weeks, although I told him I'm not that stressed about it (at least consciously). I had a blood test done and am going to have ECG. Still waiting for the results. I have a healthy lifestyle, I'm vegan and 20 years old. I exercise daily, I used to smoke occasionally but for 6 months I haven't touched a cigarette I have mild depression and anxiety. Since I started to do yoga and focus more on myself (about 3 months now) my mental health is a lot better and I manage it easier than ever. I take St john's wort for a good mood along with multivitamins and omega 3-6-9. I also have a strong pollen allergy In the past, I had the feeling of my heart skipping a beat although it felt different from what I have now and wasn't regular at all (once for a couple of months, now- every day before going to sleep and meditating). I also had a pain in the left side of my chest, have been taken by ambulance, and tested with ECG. Medics told me that everything looks good and it's probably one of the muscles cause I did yoga that day. Today I woke up gasping for breath. I never had this sensation before, I know how my sleep paralysis used to feel and it's completely different. I'm really worried, I haven't slept almost the whole night cause I'm simply afraid to do so. Could you please tell me if this is really stress? Why did it start to happen to while meditating for longer?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc
- 2020/06/26

Hi Ada

It is indeed strange that your heart has been skipping a beat since starting to meditate for longer. It could be that you are only becoming aware of it now, when you have the time to 'quiet down'. But, the symptoms that you experience can definitely be related to stress or anxiety - it might be an underlying anxiety - we are all experiencing a strange 'unease' during this pandemic, picking up on one another's energy. I would definitely recommend an ECG as well as a stress ECG. If those tests are okay, then one will seriously have to consider the symptoms being anxiety-related. Good luck and I hope that you feel better soon. 

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