AF caused by position im in

Hi everyone,

For some time i have been expereincing both missed heart beats and AF. i feel they come on when i am sat down and at the time of just falling to sleep.

Iv had heart monitors in the past when irregular beats were identified.

I am going to ask my doctor to look into this further as they are now affecting my quality of life and causing sleep problems.

If anyone else has expereinced AF due to certain positions could you let me now if you found a cause and a treatment.


22 Replies

  • Sleeping on the left side and sitting down to relax have both been an issue experienced by many with AF.

    Cause: possibly the Vagal nerve

    Treatment: Don't sleep on the left, ask to be referred to a cardiologist and if GP won't, ask for a private referral plus do research on the benefits of lifestyle changes e.g. exercise levels, stress levels, food.

    Good Luck.

  • Lots of good advice in here thanks...AF can occur which ever side im on but not all the time...nights are the worst and its quite scary.


  • Agree - ask for a referral to a specialist cardiologist, an EP (Electrophysiologist) the electrical specialists of the heart. Do you take anticoagulants?

  • No i dont take not sure what they are. I am hoping to see a cardiologist as im been tested for a rare tumour which can cause AF and right sided heart failure.

  • People with AF are at much higher risk of having a stroke so dependent upon your circumstances, anti coagulants are prescribed to prevent the blood from coagulating and causing a blood clot. Because you have a complicated scenario this may or not apply to you but it is something you should ask your cardiologist/EP about.

    If you would like to know more I suggest you check out the leaflets that you can down load from the AFA website - link on this forum and or the Arrythmia Alliance web-pages. AF patients need to become informed on the condition to be able to know the questions to ask the consultants about. Also check out

  • Hi Yorkshiregirl, I read your profile and saw that you have thyroid probs, which as you probably know, can be an underlying cause of AF. AF can also have triggers through the vagal nerve which is part of the autonomic nervous system and can be irritated by certain positions, especially lying on your left side, resting, exercising, certain foods, alcohol, caffeine, large meals etc etc?

    I also note you had problems with PALS. Just for your future information, look up an organisation called HealthWatch - if you find a local contact they can be very supportive re complaints. Best wishes CD

  • Yes thyroid probs since about 2008 and diagnosed 2010, Thyroid meds can affect my heart rate plus i dont think the thyroid meds im on fully agree with me.

    Had a neurologist appt and i was unhappy about the letter he wrote, Pals became involved but they did not really support me it was more about ensuring i let the matter drop. Today iv recieved another neurologist appt with a differenet doctor.

  • I don't think it's your position bringing on the missed beats and AF. I think it happens to be when you are at your most relaxed and your heartbeat is at its lowest.

    This happens to me. Certainly it happens to me less these days.

    I know this subject is everywhere but if you're not already, try taking magnesium supplements at a high dose. I'm sure it's helped me.


  • It does seem to happen more when im trying to sleep, i get pain in upper back and shoulders and my shoulder muscles keep on working most of the night.

    I will try magnesium..thanks

  • Christine, I notice that you have or may have fibromyalgia too. Magnesium in a high dose should help all those muscle pains especially at night.


  • thanks again. fibro is one of the diagnosis along with ME that i dont agree with, i beleive in the symptoms but the cause as yet to be found. Once i got the febro diagnosis its been really tough to get doctors to look further that it

  • Exactly the same thing happens to me,when I'm sat down and can feel A/F coming on I get up and walk about for five minutes,deep breaths and relax, i burp,loads of wind and it eases,listening to all the nice people on here,I'm sure it has something to do with the vagal nerve,it seems to be my digestive system that sets my A/F off,if I lie on my left side that also sets it of,I don't eat onions or drink coffee any more and this has helped,when you feel it coming on stretch the top end of your chest up away from your tummy and stretch your tummy down,and calm down and relax while you are doing this,what works for some doesn't always work for others,but I hope it helps,I am waiting to see an E/P

    Regards viv

  • That makes alot of sense to me...i started to think that something must be pressing on my blood supply whcih caused the AF.

  • That sounds very similar to me Viv before the Flecainide was increased to 100mg twice a day. I could then sit down and relax in the evenings and sleep with several extra pillows.

    After burping for many months I had a hi tech urine test called Organix taken at home, frozen and to Denmark by courier. It revealed I had a lot of bad bacteria (cause unknown but a couple of suspects are antibiotics or taking mercury compounds out of my teeth) and my Naturopath prescribed Pro Biotics and Glycine. nb my GP seems very restricted as to what they can do, so most is private.

    Currently as I appear to have adrenergic Lone PAF vaguely mediated I am focussing on the head (relaxation exercises) and the gastro system with the usual heart supplements of Mg, CoQ10 and Potassium rich foods. I have a CHADS 0 score so my anticoagulant is Krill oil supplement and olive oil on salads etc.

    Hope something above helps.

  • Thanks orchardworker,I did send you a reply yesterday,but don't know where it's gone,I was on dronedarone, had an ECG done and showed I was still in A/F,my G.P.wanted me to go on amiodarone,which I said no to as I have heard really bad reports about,I think he was a bit annoyed because I didn't want to go on this drug,I wasn't offered anything else,have had a heart monitor on for 24hrs just waiting for results,I have now asked to see an E.P. I am only on warfarin,beleive it or not but my A/F doesn't seem as bad


  • I have the same problem with my af my cardiologist is looking to put a pacemaker in I am lucky if I get 3 hours sleep a night which is not good as I also have heart failure and I am recovering from open heart surgery .

  • After 2 ablations, the second successful a year ago, I only ever sleep on my right side. Strangely, with a fit of energy, I lay on the floor on my LEFT side to polish under a glass table. I started feeling nauseous which passed when I got up, which I did immediately.

  • Do you ever get pain with AF..i have pain in shoulders and upper back which is severe when trying to sleep. Six oclock in the morning and if im lucky i might fall asleep. How do you manage on little sleep, im like a zombie most of the day and i feel very confused alot of the time. I think its becasuse i dont have the energy to think things through and it takes me longer to work out what someone has said or what they mean.


  • Grace i have sent you a reply but it appears to have gone under the post below.


  • Have you tried sleeping propped up with pillows? You will need at least 5. It takes time to get used to but for 6 months that was the only way I managed to get sleep without AF waking me.

  • Tried sleeping with many pillows last night and yes it did help..i was almost sat up but i did fall thanks for advice.

  • Gad! I'm glad to find others that experience this as well. For a long time I have suspected this when I sleep too many hours. For me that's about 8 or more. I had not put together that it may be my left side sleeping that causes it. I know that overtime I have developed a pension to sleep on my right. I cannot sleep on my back at all due to an old injury. I wonder if my body just kind of figured out that the right side was best for me. I'll start paying more attention to any left side sleeping and my episodes of AFib. My thanks to everyone that has posted

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