AF Association
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Curious about AFib and Apnea

I have been getting more and more tired of the side effects of my current drug therapy. I have Afib and HOCUM, hyper-tropic obstructive cardiomyopathy. The Cardiologist and Internist seemed to think I should be tested for Sleep Apnea. What a disaster. The sleep center had an overbearing chemical smell due to being in the basement of a old motel and trying to cover the mold damage. the AC was weak and the place was 78 degrees F and too humid. They glued sensors all over my head and body and insisted I wear a shirt. After soaking the bed in 45 minutes and getting no response from calling out I removed the sensors and the attendant showed up in time for me to be putting on my pants to leave. Next they tried a home monitor. It found I woke up 4 times that night. I could have told them that if they asked. I'm 61 and get up to pee a couple times every night. After this experience I am led to believe Sleep Apnea is a way to get insurance money for a made up syndrome. I still don't know what getting up to pee has to do with A fib. I decided to cut down on one of the drugs I take and have more energy and out of A fib. When I cut down the Sotolol I had no need for caffeine to get through the day.

Any thoughtsout there on how to reduce sid effects of metropolol, sotolol, and lisinopril.

10 Replies

Just a few comments here. Sleep Apnea has been linked to AF. Excess Pee-ing can be a symptom of AF. Also prostate problems (I had cancer I found) so do get checked out in that department. They say all men die with it the secret is not to die from it. Sotalol is no longer recommended for treatment of AF in UK. In UK Sleep Apnea can mean your driving license is revoked so I doubt anybody would volunteer to have it for an insurance scam. LOL



Good Morning Bob - I'm just wondering why having sleep apnea would prevent you from driving?



Sorry BobD not quite right it is simlar to AF and driving if it will not affect your driving and under control you do not need to inform them.

Info below with link for full comments

What is the difference between OSA and OSAS?

Because OSAS is a more severe form of OSA, where there is evidence of symptoms such as excessive daytime sleepiness, it may affect your ability to drive.

If you have OSA, without daytime sleepiness sufficient to impair driving, you do not have to notify the DVLA. However if you are diagnosed with OSAS (with sleepiness or related symptoms sufficient to impair your driving) you must notify the DVLA and stop driving until the symptoms have been satisfactorily controlled.

Indeed if you have any daytime sleepiness regardless of the cause, sufficient to impair your safety and that of other road users, you should not drive, and if this is linked to a medical condition you will need to notify DVLA.


I have a fitbit and that monitors sleep, it usually reckons I wake 30-odd times in a night so congratulations on only waking four times... lol. I am not sure how they can know waking has anything to do with sleep apnea, though I've also heard that can put you in AF. Do you snore? I believe that can be a symptom (I snore like anything). I would think one of these sleep centre tests would be a nightmare under the circumstances you describe, but I'm really not sure how else they can be certain.

Caffeine is one of the things I was told to give up because it can affect AF, I know not everyone feels that way but it definitely affects my heart. Sotalol and mesoprolol are beta-blockers like my bisoprolol and the only suggestion I have is to try CoQ10, it helps with energy levels.


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It appears that AF and reflux contribute more to SA. I have both and suffer episodes of gasping for breath but not every night. So when on a monitor it might not show enough to warrant a PAP machine. I am 59 and rarely get up in the night to go to the loo but have not slept well since 2008! I am on 2x80mg Sotalol now plus digoxin.

Be well


Thanks for the prompt replies. I don't snore according to my wife, nor do I move much at night. I usually wake up in the same position I fall asleep in if the room is cool, dark and quiet. Have tests scheduled for prostate and endoscopy. Would have been nice to know about the caffeine and even grapefruit juice as that was a problem till I found out about it on a radio program.


Sleep apnea is a very serious condition which is easily treatable whereas ignored it can be a time bomb. My ex husband suffered from this for 30 years but it wasn't until he had 3 car accidents, one nearly killing someone other than himself, that the family took his car keys away from him, he kept falling asleep at the wheel. Since being on the CPAP even he says his life has been transformed. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing in your sleep as your trachea is unable to sustain pressure, CO2 rises in your blood and your sleep is disturbed so you become sleep deprived. It is linked to lots of illnesses including AF. If you were lucky enough to get a sleep study on your insurance surely it would have been beneficial to know whether or not your risks was increased if you had sleep apnea? And if you didn't well isn't that reassuring.


Think its to do with tiredness and falling asleep at the wheel.......when I worked for 12 months in LHCH I did letters for Dr Hadcroft the Chest Physician there and I recall in the letters that you had to just inform the DVLA you have sleep apnea..can't remember anything!


Loo he did that, hence the accidents. He used to ring anyone he could on his 90min commute home to try keep himself awake, even me, and still wouldn't see the doctor. Drove me nuts when I was with him and was only one of the less endearing qualities he inflicted on others. Eventually my sons stood up to him and just took the keys to his car and ran! It incensed him but it worked. Since being on the CPAP no more calls, hurray! And it has improved his temperament, anecdotally as I haven't spoken to him for about 18 months.

Even after the divorce he seemed to think that everything that went wrong with his life was somehow my fault, even problems with his second marriage, which lasted kess than 2 years. The peace is golden.


My energy levels have steadily improved since changing from sotalol to bisoprolol 2 and a half years ago.

Getting up as much as 5 times a night is rare but heralds an AF attack.


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