Why does my heart pound and race when I first wake up?

Depends. You may actually be feeling your heart beating abnormally but it's just as likely that you're just more aware of your normal heartbeat. The distinction can easily be made by wearing a 24 hour (holter) recorder (obtainable from your family doc) which will record and document what your actual rhythm is. If the rhythm is normal, relaxation techniques will help. If abnormal, treatments are available.