What are some of the signs that leads up to a person having a heart attack, especially in their sleep?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "classic" signs and symptoms of AMI are chest pain or pressure, nausea/vomiting, diaphoresis (profuse sweating), and shortness of breath (SOB). Classic means that these S/S are very, very common and a vast number of people present with this clinical picture. However, by no means does this indicate that all AMI patients will display these S/S. Some people have no S/S at all, some have very vague presentations, some may complain of jaw pain or arm pain, some may be SOB but have no chest pain. Females commonly present with atypical S/S.

If someone had AMI while sleeping, some of them would wake up from the pain, assuming they had pain. Others would not wake up at all.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most heart attacks begin very slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Sometimes these symptoms do not wake people from their sleep. Others are very sudden and very intense. There are three very specific signs that means a heart attack is happening:

  1. Chest discomfort-Discomfort in the chest is a very common symptom of a heart attack. It usually begins with a discomfort in the center of the chest that doesn't go away, or comes and goes. There is often a feeling of pressure or squeezing.
  2. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body-Other areas , such as the jaw or arms, can have pain or discomfort.
  3. Shortness of breath


lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One other factor not mentioned above is sleep apnea. This is the stopping of breathing, during sleep, which can happen hundreds of times a night. The snoring that you hear with this is quite distinctive. The loud snoring stops, and no sound is heard at all, until a sudden, loud gasping for breath happens. This is most common in overweight people who sleep on their backs, and is caused by obstruction of the airway. It can contribute to cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

revolution | Student

It is very hard to alert people from heart attack when they are asleep, many news reports stating that many people had died from heart attack when they are asleep in bed.

The symptoms that can help you detect the chance of getting a heart attack are when you have shortness of breath, nausea, frequency of fainting or dizziness. You may even have chest pain- a tight squeezing or pressure in the middle of the chests. Your shoulders and arms may be equally painful too. If you have these symptoms, you must see your doctor straight away without delay in case of further complications.