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Does anyone else have problems sleeping? Getting a good nights sleep when I was on Bisoprolol was not good despite having persistent waves of fatigue during the day. When I changed to Atenolol I seemed to be ok for a while (ie no waves of fatigue and slept well maybe 4 out of 5) but now I seem to be constantly tired, I either don't get to sleep till 3 or 4 or I wake at about 1 and stay awake for hours. I probably get 1 good nights sleep in 3 at the moment. I think I do all of the suggestions such as bed at the same time, cool room, no using my phone after 7 ish...

7 Replies

Hi 123 ABC 123,

Sleep is something that has been a problem for me for some years, and certainly since I've been on Bisoprolol. That said, I have never blamed Bisoprolol, rather because I'm a bus driver, and before I retired and slowed down to driving buses part time 3 days a week, I always blamed being a shift worker for my disruptive sleep patterns that I experience today. In those days I drove 5 or 6 days a week, full shifts between 8 and 10 hours duration. all sorts of shifts sometimes early, sometimes late and often broken shifts.

I usually find I can drop off to sleep easily enough at around 9 pm, but wake up between 2 am and 3 am. Then its very hard to get back to sleep - such as right now. I don't fight it. I get up, make a cup of tea and get on my computer as I am right now and catch up with my emails (I've been working 10 hour shifts the last 3 days). Must say - despite this weird sleep pattern I never tire during the day, nor feel drowsy or sleepy. No fatigue at all. However, when I get home and after my evening meal I tend to doze on and off until my partner gets crapped off and sends me to bed. When I'm not working (the other 4 days), I tend to treat myself to a nap in the afternoon for an hour or so. Mind you, this doesn't help the night time sleeping either.

I am 72 and although diagnosed with paroxysmal AF in Jan 2010 (aged 65), I have been AF free since April 2015 thanks to a combination of medication (blood pressure tablets and Bisoprolol) and diet and lifestyle changes. As I said, I still drive buses, in the tourist industry which also involves handling passengers luggage in and out of the bus. So I keep fairly trim.

I do have to say though I do often wake up hot and the bedroom is at best stuffy. My partner won't sleep with the window open. I then get up and open up the rear French doors of the house to cool down. (Not in winter though).

I suppose I get a good 8 hours sleep once or twice a week, usually after a days driving. After I've been up a few hours, I go back to bed, read a little and go back to sleep for up to another 4 hours - but I can't do that on a work day when I'm up about 5 am. I try and 'download my brain' and clear it out of all unneccessary clutter but this tends not to work for me. Sort of like trying to calm my mind.

I have to say though my partner very often just can't get to sleep. She'll go to bed at the same time as me but will often still be awake at 1 am having not slept a wink. She doesn't drive buses, never worked shifts and has no AF !

I give up ......... now I've written this ............ back to bed shortly :-)



I guess not fighting it is the answer. I often lay in bed worrying about still being awake.


Hi 123Abc123 :-) I have read that sleep is very important for AFibbers, like carneuny until my retirement many of my jobs required working unusual hours which didn't help with forming good sleep patterns.

I am sleeping well at the moment mainly because my mind is not troubled but I still have spells of poor sleep. Sometimes, before I was formally diagnosed, episodes of AF began at bed time and I was afraid to go to sleep worried something nasty might happen while I was sleeping but now I am anti coagulation that is not such a worry.

If I can't sleep there are things I try, firstly the bedroom must not be too hot, fresh air is important.

Getting up and having a bath or shower can help.

Pure oil of lavender (a few drops on a tissue) near your pillow helps some people.

I try remember poems I learn as a child or visualise walks all the time breathing slowly and rhythmically.

It that fails I never just lay there worrying about it but get up and do something undemanding, ironing or starting a batch of bread maybe then back to bed and try again to sleep.


Margerum (?) Spelling) is an essential oil that has been known to help sleep. I sleep better now because since I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, I use a CPAP machine with a humidifier attachment. The masks are awful but there are many to try.


My first visit to see the ep specialist about my af he referred me to a sleep clinic the appointment is in September.

I always believed I slept well until my wife mentioned to the dr that I sometimes hold my breath, he said sleep apnea can contributed to af symptoms.

I have just had my ablation done on Thursday so hoping everything gets sorted.


123abc: have you been tested for sleep apnea? Many people with Afib are prone to sleep apnea. Sometimes it can bring on an episode. When I was tested, I stopped breathing 37 times in one hour. I went from 37 to 3.2 which is normal, anything under 4 is normal.i was tested at home with a smart watch and some finger sensors for oxygen and heart rate. You don't have to spend the night in a sleep clinic

Many blood pressure meds will make you tired at first. I'm on Atenolol as well but sleeping so much better. Good luck in your journey.



I don't think I have sleep apnea but I sometimes wake myself up if I snore!! I have been on high blood pressure tablets for about 18 years so perhaps that is adding to the problem. I might look into the idea of using essential oils though. Thanks.


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