Racing Heart and Dizziness When I Try to Fall Asleep

Published: April 25, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Dear TeenHealthFX, every night as I fall asleep, I feel like my heart starts to race, I get dizzy, and I feel like I fell out of my bed. I also get a weird feeling like I am outside of my own body. I then wake up and my chest hurts and my stomach starts having pains. I haven't told anyone about this because I don't know what to say, but I also don't know what the person or Dr is going to say to me. Am I going crazy????
Signed: Racing Heart and Dizziness When I Try to Fall Asleep

Dear Racing Heart and Dizziness When I Try to Fall Asleep,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate that these symptoms must be of real concern to you. However, we do not think you are “going crazy.” Given what you have described, we are wondering if you are experiencing some form of anxiety. People who are dealing with anxiety, especially those who have panic attacks, can deal with all kinds of physical symptoms such as feeling like their heart is racing, feeling dizzy, feeling a tightness or pain in the chest area and stomach pains.

Given your symptoms, FX recommends that you start out by meeting with your primary care physician or an adolescent medicine specialist so that a doctor can rule out any underlying medical issues. If there are no medical issues, then it would be helpful to meet with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who has experience working with teens and anxiety disorders. By meeting with a therapist on a weekly basis you could better understand and address any underlying issues contributing to your anxiety, as well as develop healthier coping methods.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX