Not sleeping with AF: Hi all , has anyone any... - AF Association

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Not sleeping with AF

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Hi all , has anyone any suggestions , on medication that they take at night to help with sleep , I don't think I have had a proper night sleep since I was diagnosed with AF, have recently had an ablation , 4 weeks previous , unfortunately not feeling a lot of difference, do not have AF all night but sometimes quite long periods, I sit up , don't lie on left side , don't eat late , don't drink , no caffeine, in fact my life had become very boring , and I have no energy , I have been prescribed anti depressants before which make me worse , and also a antihistamaine which give me a good night for 1 night , then they don't work and I feel groggy next day , usually fit active and fun , now very low, miserable , and no energy to do anything, I am on Flecainide , bisop and apixaban , sorry to be a misog today , and don't want to pull anyone else down , but have hit rock bottom , others around me do not understand as I don't really share it , and my poor husband is , trying very hard to understand what I am going through , never been ill in my life , I am 65 but like to think don't look it , don't act it , and don't feel like it but unfortunately do now x

13 Replies

Very sympathetic, you are not alone. I am not at all convinced by Bisop and I am testing it as I experience some of the symptoms you mention. I try many natural remedies to help with sleep e.g. lavender including lavender tea, homeopathic remedies for sleep (see a homeopath). Exercise helps a lot and you have to push yourself and fight through the lethargy. Can you discuss alternative medication with your GP?

Thank you , feel bad about moaning really as I know everyone is unfortunately in a similar boat,I do put lavender on my pillow and end my evening before sleep with Reiki , but I sleep which seems hours and then realise its about an hour if I'm lucky, and then its a loooooong night , I have my review with my consultant next week , feel that the GP would be reluctant to make any changes , on his own , shall try and discuss with heart man , thank you x x

Please do not feel you are moaning you are expressing how you feel and that is honest and good. I would guess most of us who suffer from AF have suffered from a lack of sleep. Recently I went to my GP and asked for a mild sleeping pill. I was at the end of my tether from lack of sleep. After a battle when he in my view was attempting to cover his backside he prescribed me sleepers but told me it was only for one month then we will deal with your anxiety issues. It was like talking to a brick wall, no an idiot . But for the last couple of weeks I have had sleep, and as important, anxiety is no longer an issue for now, as I don’t lay awake most of the night worrying about things I cannot control.

I am on nine different tabs some for AF some for other illnesses I’m told I will be on the majority of them for life am I’m going to worry about taking a pill which gives me sleep Because they can be addictive., I’m 70 for Christ sake I’m addicted to most of these tabs out of nessessity? Two things come into play here, it is fashionable in the medical profession today not to prescribe sleepers, there addictive they claim, yet they are only to keen to prescribe drugs like amitriptyline for anxiety which can be equally addicting. My advice if you have a sympathetic GP ask for a mild sleeper and get a good nights sleep. By the way this is not me moaning it’s me ranting ;-) Hope all goes well.

Bless you they are very reluctant to give any thing only probably the ones that they can gain financially by , a little more like Prozac and the likes , no thanks , any way will take your advice and see if I can find a kind one x x x All the best x

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Some of us do take medication and others have found solutions like a lavender pillow spray. There's an app - there are probably lots of them - by someone mentioned recently by djbgatekeeper and there are mind distracting techniques you can learn at sleep workshops. I sometimes find that what I learnt at one will work really well.

It's horrid when you start to feel you are suddenly years older than you were not long ago - but when you get on top of things, those added years do disappear again.

Hi Vern

You are on the exact same meds that I am (10mg bisoprolol, 50mg flecanide). I'm 36 in a few weeks, so you could say age is on my side. But when you're feeling down and exhausted and not able to be as upbeat and engaged with your young family as you like then yeah it hits you like a ton of bricks and pulls you to rock bottom too!

I did have some respite and better sleep a few years ago (before baby) on Amytriptaline. It has a mild sedative effect just enough to let you drift off even on the lowest dose and whilst it does sometimes take a few hours to wake up from it I did find I was getting deeper quality sleep rather than interrupted sleep.

Its effectiveness really depended on when I took it. Too early (teatime) and I'd be asleep on the sofa by 8pm. Too late and I'd still feel like it was bedtime at 9am the next day.

The only reason I stopped it is because it was at odds with the "safe sleep" protocols the midwives recommend (no opiates no sedatives no sleeping tablets no nytol no heavy drinking no smoking) otherwise I may well have continued with it.

It also has an ant-depressant quality to it.... which whilst it doesn't make the problems change it does give you just enough "chill" to not lie awake counting heartbeats or worrying about stuff to the point you just think, I really need to close my eyes.... and you're away.

Dear Jedimasterlincoln , thank you so much for that help full advice, I can see how that sounds that I am twice your age nearly , It must be hard for you with a young family , I hope you are managing to cope , my main problem is the activity side not too selfish to want to stay fit for as long as possible, exhausted by day means I can nearly achieve nothing , I shall take on board about the sleeping tablets, sounds a little more suitable for me , thank you, we must all get so frustrated not being as able x x

Hi Vern - I started having sleeping problems not long after being diagnosed with AF nearly 5 years ago and I am sure it is a combination of the AF and medication. Like you I sould sleep for about an hour then just lay there - I was not stressed or worrying about anything just could not sleep, which in turn meant a bad day next day. If I do not have a reasonable nights sleep I cannot function next day and makes AF worse.

Over the last few years I have tried lots things, Lavender is my worst enemy, it makes me hyper and very agitated, I must be the only person on the planet that it has the reverse affect on lol. I have also tried Amytriptaline which did not work for me, did not help me sleep but gave me brain fog, could not function properly. Eventually my GP decided that a mild sleeping tablet would be best, so I now take Zopiclone, which does not seem to have any side effects for me. It does not knock me out, still have to get up a few times during the night for a visit to the loo, but generally get a good nights sleep and feel fine the next day. Hope you get it sorted out.


Thanks Cassie , very help full x x

I have had sleep problems for some years which were alleviated by a small dose of Amtriptyline, which i had to stop after onset of AF and put on

Amiodarone . My pattern is 3 hours of good sleep then 2 hours of no sleep followed by 2 hours of restless sleep. Take zopiclone once a week for total sleep. Would take more but don't want to become addicted. Both Bisoporol and Amiodarone have insomnia as a listed side effect. Hey Ho.

Try nasal strips, easy to buy, no side effects and helps me - upper nasal stuffiness = less oxygen =AF

I,m a similar age 66 and I take 50mg x 2 Flecainide and 240mg Diltiazem CD for AF . Found just what you said about antihistamines , some only work a few times then zilch !

With the lethargy I found magnesium really helped and the only two antihistamines that continue to work are centrizine and polarmine both work well but c zine is less tiring the next day.

Morning. Sorry to hear your feeling like you are. My husband albeit older was exactly the same. Eventually we find a GP in our practice who listened and was prescribed phenegan. It is not addictive but got home back into the rythem of sleeping. I suggest to talk to your GP about it again. You don’t want to get dependent on sleeping tablets but these are different. You could google them. But always discuss with your GP first !!

Let me know how you get on.

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