AF Association
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PAF and lying down

Why does my PAF (probably vagal) so often start when I get into bed - sometimes I've hardly lain down and off it goes. I sleep on my right side as I've heard that is usually better for AF sufferers. It lasts for typically up to 2 hrs. I've had one catheter ablation (June 2015) which improved things enormously but think I now need another one. I'm not on any heart medication as they either don't work or are not recommended as I have LBBB. I take Apixaban.

Any-one else suffer from this? Any ideas how to stop it would be gratefully received.

( reposting here -hope its the right place.!)

11 Replies

My sympathies ! My AF has very often started soon after getting to bed and like you thought to be vagal in origin. Tips I can give you are to try and sleep well propped up with as many pillows as you can bear and when possible try not to eat too late in the evening. ( I wish my episodes only lasted 2 hours......I normally end up requiring D.C. cardioversion )

Best wishes



Thanks Sandra. I don't eat late, but will try more pillows.

Sorry to hear you end up having cardioversion. Although I get PAF most nights because it doesn't last long and I don't need cardioversion I'm counting my blessings!



This was the forum where I suggested that you repost.

The AA post is at


Find a good chiropractor who may help by adjusting your neck. The vagus nerve could be impacted. If you can find one who has a Scenar device, this can be used to affect the vagus nerve if the right protocol is followed. This has helped me a great deal. I am still experimenting with the treatment but from what I can tell it is helping a lot. If I do start into AF when laying down and catch it soon enough, I can stop it 99% of the time just by standing. If it stays stopped for a bit, I can usually lay down and it will not start again. I am not on drugs either. I did not know drugs were not recommended if you have a LBB as I have as well.


Yes Mars 1 Bar,Do you only have 1bar a day?now tell the truth.

I also have PAF,episodes are mostly when I go to bed,or it wakes me.

A year now I decided to have four pillows,first one lay about 4/5 Ins from headboard,then other 3 right against headboard,all flat,sometimes I only use 3 pilliows,this has worked for me,have not had an episode in over a year,it is also very comfortable.

Having the first pillow 5ins away,supports shoulders and neck.Good luck,let me know how you go and keep well.


Hi, my episodes nearly always start when I am about to go to sleep or sleep already. I don't know why this happens and usually at the same time @ midnight. I was told to take a couple of betablockers and these usually work after a time @ 8 hours. I do sleep on my right as well.


Thanks, sadly beta blockers dont work for me.


At a risk of repeating myself as I wrote about this just recently, I found that lying down to go to sleep at night was something I really feared as all my attacks started at night. Like many people I tried up to five pillows arranged in all sorts of positions to help this as being upright seemed to help the problem. Then I read about someone who got himself an adjustable bed and it was the answer to his similiar problem. You need your body at at least at a 25% angle upwards from the waist. If the adjustable bed is too large a cost, which I found it was, I came across on the Web an inflatable sack with inflater and controller which you put under your mattress at the head and on inflating the bag you can raise the angle to as high or low as you want it. It has been an absolute success for me and at a very reasonable cost does the job. It is called a 'Mattress Genie' and it certainly is!!


My PAF is very similar to yours, except it lasts longer. I have raised the head of my bed and sleep on 2 pillows but it doesn't stop it. I am convinced it is what I eat that triggers them. A large meal that is meaty or hard to digest, coffee, chocolate and alcohol seem to be my triggers. Maybe you could keep a food log until you have had a few episodes and see if you can identify a recurring theme?

Good luck



I'm pretty sure its not food. I eat a light evening meal way before bedtime and neither caffeine, nor alcohol are triggers (though I don't have either in the evening.

Thanks for your input.



I am into the routine of taKing my calcium channel blocker (verapamil) with breakfast. I too am troubled by AF at bedtime. I wonder if I took my meds then it would help? Seems blindingly obvious now I think about it!!


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