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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.


Your nighttime chest symptoms could arise from a heart or lung problem. You should discuss your symptoms with a doctor as soon as possible.

If you have chest pain at night, this symptom may be a form of angina, which is chest pain or tightness that occurs when an area of your heart is receiving inadequate blood flow. Occasionally people with heart disease have increased symptoms several hours after their evening meal, when blood flow is diverted to the digestive organs. This would fit with chest symptoms at bedtime. Symptoms of chest pain with exercise, sweating, or left arm, shoulder or neck symptoms such as pain, numbness or tingling can also be symptoms of heart disease. Delaying medical care is very dangerous when heart disease may be taking place.

Chest pain may also be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, acid reflux). Acid reflux causes a burning or aching pain behind the breastbone and commonly occurs when you lie down.

Shortness of breath or cough upon lying down may be caused by allergic asthma (especially due to dust mite allergy with exposure to allergens in your bedding), other respiratory conditions, acid reflux (when refluxed acid results in irritation of the airways) and congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure commonly causes increased symptoms after lying flat because fluid that has accumulated in the legs returns to the bloodstream and heart when the legs are elevated.

You should address your chest symptoms with a physician before pursuing other evaluation for your sleeping difficulties.


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