Thump Thump Thump! Does this describe your heart when you lie on your stomach?

Are you feeling a “boom boom boom” that seems to be just a bit too forceful?

And it occurs only when you lie on your stomach. How odd is that? And not necessarily every single time, but that’s the only time it happens.

What is going on here?

“Changes in the heart’s position may make the heartbeat more forceful on the chest wall, resulting in feeling the heart beat more clearly,” says Daniel P. Morin, MD, FACC, Director of Electrophysiology Research and Director of Cardiovascular Research for the Ochsner Health System.

This annoying sensation, then, is not a sign of anything wrong with your heart or major blood vessels.

Nevertheless, it’s annoying, and there are ways you can prevent feeling your heart beating in your stomach while you’re lying on your tummy.

How to Prevent Your Heart from “Thumping” While  Lying on Your Stomach

Dr. Morin says, “Don’t sleep on the stomach.” It’s that simple.

As you can see, this phenomenon is nothing to worry about.

Maybe now that you know it’s a function of anatomy and body position, you can relax and feel more at ease while your heart “thumps” when you’re lying on your belly.

But what if you can’t fall asleep in any other position?

You can train  your body to fall asleep in a different position.

  • Try different pillow arrangements.
  • Maybe try elevating your feet.
  • If sleeping on your side and/or back is uncomfortable, see if a three-quarter position won’t work. In that position, place a plump pillow between your legs.
  • Play a white noise machine to help loll you into a peaceful slumber.

If the only way you can fall asleep is if you lie on your stomach, then embrace the sound of your heartbeat pumping much needed blood throughout your body. The muscle is merely doing its job.

Dr. Morin’s clinical interests are in device therapy for cardiac dysfunction (including cardiac resynchronization therapy) and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias with medical therapy and/or catheter ablation.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Motortion Films