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Heart & Cardiology/Weird "drop" in HR feeling


Dear Mr. Richardson,

I thought I emailed this to you earlier and if I did my apologies.  If not, however, my question is as follows...

I am a middle aged man.  I do not know if this is a cardiac problem but I can't tell what it is & I think it may be related to the heart.

Sometimes when I wake up at night, upon the slightest of movements (rolling over, pulling covers up) it feels like my heart stops.  I check to see if I have a pulse after and I always do and it always feels normal.  I also have PVCs but this doesn't feel like that.  There is no "flip flopping" or thumping.  I might get this once a night in bed, or go 3 weeks with nothing.  But never happened before a few months ago.

I do also have anxieties/panic but it can happen when I'm relaxed and I've never noticed it outside of the realm I described (in bed while moving).  It also seems that if I take a deep breath 1st then move slowly it never happens.

Does this sounds like a problem or a heart problem?  For what it's worth I had an EKG 3 years ago and it was normal.  Don't know if that was too long ago to matter though?


Hello Dave,

You're probably feeling skipped beats.   Skipped beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any heart catastrophe.  

Please write back if this note doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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