Sleeping problems

Am 6weeks post Ablation and improving steadily- doing more walking and gaining pace!

My main problem is poor sleep. Heart sensitivity has calmed down a little but finding I am tossing and turning all night for some other reason.

Question is-- could anyone recommend a sleeping aid (over the counter stuff) which might help. I'm currently on Flecainide and Bisoprolol with Rivaroxaban anticoagulant.

Don't want to take the 'hard stuff' from my GP- but I would love a good night's sleep!!

Super site, by the way. Have been reassured on many occasions.

26 Replies

  • I suspect that you are still stressed underneath and worried that things will revert again as I'm sure most of us have experienced. Never take anything without speaking to your medical team and never take advice from us without. I would speak to your local pharmacist about possible aids , valerian being one possible. Found in lettuce if I recall correctly? Didn't the baby rabbits fall asleep in Peter Rabbit because the lettuce they ate had a soporific affect? LONG time ago I last read it so could be wrong. (Flopsy. Mopsy and Cotton Tail???)


  • I sympathise and have no real remedy but I do use a lavender pillow spray and perhaps have slept less badly of late!

  • If you are taking the bisoprolol in the morning, try taking it in the evening instead. I changed mine in this way and now I struggle to stay awake beyond 10pm.

  • I'm exactly the same, suffering sleeplessness. I have AF and I do worry about it but I just can't seem to remember how to fall asleep, it's madness!!

    I'm always checking my pulse so it's probably become habit for me, I really must stop doing it and try to relax.

    I've tried the herbal remedy Kalmsleep and they sometimes help.

    Hope you're having a good nights sleep tonight.

    Best wishes.


  • I'm pre ablation , it's tomorrow and I won't sleep a wink tonight !!!

  • Good luck with that, ive been cardioverted only lasted a week or so the reverted back, im on waiting list for an ablation should be in couple of months time im told. How old are you? Im 36 and told im very young to be having af. Let me know how you get on at hospital good luck :-)

  • Good luck

  • Good luck for tomorrow and make sure you let us know how you get on.


  • Oh good luck maxdog, mine is next week, very daunting isn't it. Hope you can get a few hours sleep.


  • I have had the same sleeping problem post ablation. The doctor did give me a prescription sleeping aid (cross checked with my medication) but only good for a couple of weeks and potentially addictive. You could try Nytol ( in the blue packet not green). I found it the most effective of the over counter stuff. You should still check out that's it's safe to take with your existing medication but it will definitely help you to sleep. Longer term it is of course all about trying to relax and let nature takes its course, but not so easy if you are lying there wide awake night after night! Good luck

  • Ask to be referred to a sleep clinic, best thing I ever did.

  • The one thing that helped me temporarily is Dr Bachs Night Remedy, especially effective if I dropped off but then woke up and couldn't nod off again,

    Could just be that if you are resting, you are not exposed to enough light during the day. Get out and about as much as possible or sit in daylight for as much as you can. Daylight - dark increases/decreases hormone levels - melatonin is required for sleep and normally peeks about 10.30 - 11.00 pm so that is the best time to nod off. You can buy Melatonin over the counter in U.S. which I used very effectively, especially for jet lag but not available without script here.

    Have a nighttime routine and stick to it, Don't nap at all during the day, however tired you feel. Never use a mobile screen of any type 3 hours before bed. Start thinking - I am going to sleep now, I am going to sleep now etc.........

    Play the most boring audio book through your earphones, preferably one you know well, so no surprises, but set the timer to switch off after 1 hour maximum.

  • On the same lines as CDreamer, you could try putting a radio on so low that you almost have to strain to hear it. I find radio 4 extra is good, classic serials etc., it distracts the mind away from worries, if you do nod off it does not disturb you.

    Sweet dreams

  • Bach rescue remedy and audio book. I found Michael Palins Around the world in eighty days quite soporific. I also revisited childhood stories like The Borrowers. I tell myself, it doesn't matter if I'm not asleep as long as I'm resting. Good Luck xxxx

  • Have you been checked for Obstructive Sleep Apnea???. It is apparently quite common in AF sufferers. If you have it - not to worry. While a CPAP device can seem bothersome at first, I find that I awake far less often in Afib if I am on the machine.

  • I use CPAP and works for me!

  • Thank you so much for all the replies sleeping problems. I have one or two ideas to try and will post how I get on!!

  • Aiding sleep is another benefit of Magnesium.

    Well worth a try.


  • Could you advise on the strength of Magnesium to take please? Have heard it on the website such a lot- might give it a try. Thanks!!

  • The dose for Afib is usually as much as your bowels can take. Too much will give you loose bowels. Personally I take 850-950mg a day in a combination of Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycerinate which I buy from Amazon.

    A possible level to begin on would be around 300-400mg. If you want to take more, up the level daily until you hit a level for you which will be one step back from diarrhoea.

    Don't take Magnesium Oxide as it's supposed to be useless.


  • Thanks for that! Sounds a lot of Magnesium but will start low as you suggest!

  • If you really want a chemical fix, you could try melatonin, which promotes sleep. It's made by the body but supplements give you a little more.

    A good lavender oil helps calm the mind.

    Good nutrition, of course, is always beneficial.

    Better than other chemicals is meditation, which stabilizes the mind. Flecainide may be causing your insomnia, but your mind is where you'll find the best answers. You just have to know how to look.

    I am now four months post-ablation and my symptoms have finally started to settle down. (I've posted more background on this experience elsewhere on this site.) I'm getting better sleep but it still isn't quite enough. During the months-long depths of my dizziness, fatigue, shakiness, depression, and a few other things, what got me through was mindfulness. I haven't practiced formal sitting meditation for a few years, but the mental stability and mindfulness skills I developed paid off during this long time of high stress, uncertainty, disability, and sleeplessness.

    People have asked me how I've managed without turning to antidepressants and sleep aids. If they're really interested, I tell them I'm intimate with my thoughts and feelings, especially fears, and maybe one or two specific techniques for mental calming. Mostly I tell them that I just stay present and roll with each moment as it arises. All this comes from sitting still with myself and paying attention. Well, a few other things, too, which I invite you to discover for yourself.

    Bright blessings to you and all those who suffer.

    Koda ska

  • Melatonin is not something you can buy over the counter in the UK.

  • Thanks for that. Have read a lot about mindfulness but never got around to doing it! Perhaps I need to find a class.

  • For an introduction to Mimdfulness try downloading the App" Headspace". I was alerted to this by someone else on this forum.I have found it helpful for relaxation/ meditation and there is specific help for sleeplessness. You can try it for free.

  • Just to be clear, mindfulness doesn't come on a tape or an app. It comes from training the mind to be quiet in the face of stress-inducing events. This take practice, and practice takes time and effort. Tapes and apps can be great aids, but it's a skill and it doesn't come right away.

    The best mainstream (i.e., non-Buddhist) approach to start developing a clear and stable mind that I know of is the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. If you take it seriously, in just eight weeks you can be well on the way to facing down your demons with compassion and equanimity.

    I'm not suggesting anyone avoid tapes, apps, etc. Just trying to dispel any idea that there's a quick fix.


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