According to the University of Iowa, a lack of sleep sometimes causes heart palpitations. Palpitations take several forms, including an irregular pulse, a feeling that the heart has paused, a uneasiness or flip-flop feeling in the chest, or a pounding in the head, neck and chest.
The University of Iowa explains that, in addition to sleep deprivation, other behaviors possibly lead to heart palpitations. Excessive consumption of caffeine through coffee, tea, soda or chocolate sometimes interferes with the heartbeat. Taking the decongestant pseudoephedrine, found in certain over-the-counter cold and allergy medications, causes palpitations in some people. In addition, stress and fatigue are associated with palpitations.