AF Association
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Sleeping problem

Hello to everyone. Maybe some of you have the same issue as I do. A year ago I've had an ablation and since then I can't sleep on sides, only on my back.

On left side my heart is going to palpitations immediately and on the right side I develope tachycardia. All my AF episodes started during my sleep on my rigth side. Now is my question. How to sleep??? I am very tired to be on my back for the whole nigth. So, from approximately 2am every nigth I can't sleep. Maybe someone have the same? How do you deal with this? Please advise.

Thank you

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I actually go into Afib on back, or either side so sleep propped up by many pillows in a sitting position. It works to a certain extent, but certainly not ideal.....many sleepless nights as well. I almost dread going to bed as I know that I won't have a comfortable night.

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Hi Snoopyjackson. I dread going to bed too-stay up late because I don't sleep as well, long, or comfortably as I used to. Fortunately, I'm retired and am able to make up sleep with daytime naps. Not ideal esp when I have a busy day but it helps me not feel so sleep-deprived, BTW I have sleep apnea and use a C-PAP machine. I use it ALL the time-even for short naps so I can get the best sleep possible. Hope this helps. I feel bad for those of you still working as naps are the best solution for me.

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Hi Snoopy Jackson, Just a thought. Have you been checked for sleep apnea? irina1975

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Hi Kristina012, I had an AV node ablation and pacemaker insertion in Nov 2016. By and large I am very happy with the results and the fact that I had it. I don't know why you are having these sx. What does your doctor say? The only 'positional' problem I have had does occur at night. I sleep most comfortably on my sides-going back and forth from side to side. But since the surgery, sleeping on my left side has become uncomfortable after a short time. When I feel like this I turn back onto myright. I mentioned this to my surgeon and he said it could be because my pacemaker and it'slead get inthe way and sleeping on my left puts extra pressure on them. It's not a major problem-rather just turn over. Still glad I had the surgery. Don't know if myinfo helps but maybe is food for thought. Hope you find answers and solution soon. irina1975. Excuse typos-not my strong point!

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Have you tried sleeping flat out on your stomach?

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Hi, jennydog. Yes, I tried sleeping flat out on my stomach. The result is I can't breathe (

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I always sleep on my stomach, with head on one or other side. If neck flexibility is an issue the an arm up should sort this out. Appreciate that stomach sleeping is easier for those of the male persuasion!

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Hi, I've not slept on my left side for two years. If I'm not in AF I sleep in bed. Either on my right side but half sitting up, or on my back, and always with four pillows. If I try less than four pillows I often go into tachycardia or AF in the early hours. But if I sleep on my side with so many pillows it causes a stiff neck and sciatica as my spine is curved in that position.

So I bought a lovely recliner chair, it's very comfy and I can sleep quite well in it now I'm used to it. The leg part goes horizontal and the back is adjustable from flat to upright. When I'm already in AF in the evening I sleep downstairs in it with a duvet; I can listen to Classic FM or put the tv on if I can't get off to sleep, and I don't stress about it now.

My husband is used to it now, he often asks whether I'm going to be sleeping in bed or in the chair!

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Have you discussed this with your doctor/EP? Do they consider the ablation successful - or do you need further treatment of some kind? (No need to answer, but I think I would be actively seeking answers from them)

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I have difficulty sleeping on my left side (where I have a pacemaker) but it is because I feel my heart and it seems to be jumping out of my body! I have to sleep on my right side, sometimes I lie flat on my stomach (I am a slim lady so can manage that!). Apart from this, I suffer from insomnia, still not sorted (10 years now). After having read the latest about how lack of sleep (8 hours is the preferred amount at night), affects your body including the heart and brain functioning (article in The Sunday Times Magazine last Sunday), I am amazed I am still alive as I only get about 3 hours maximum, and not until the morning hours! I don't know why doctors don't see how important sleep is, concerning our heart condition(s)! Sleeping pills are not what I want, and when given some by my GP, they made me sleep walk and open kitchen cupboards and make a mess in my kitchen with oatmeal poured into my sugar bowl, etc - and I have no recollection of doing that - very scary indeed. I stopped taking pills after that one night, which was just before my ablation in July - my GP felt I needed to sleep before that event!

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