Struggling to sleep: Hi All I am taking... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Struggling to sleep

givemesunshine profile image

Hi All

I am taking Bisoprolol 5mg, Ramipril 1.25mg and Warfarin while waiting for new Mitral valve. My energy levels are quite low and suffering from shortness of breath especially when lying down. Sleeping is a nightmare (pun intended) I wake up after a couple of hours gasping for breath, If I sit up this then abates and I am comfortable again but struggle to go back to sleep. If I slide down back into bed then the breathing becomes difficult again, so at the moment I am getting up with a nice cup of tea and a good book (very long nights) and very tired in the day (not surprised really) Any tips on getting a few hours more sleep on a regular basis please would be appreciated.

6 Replies
MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Whilst in hospital post-bypass I slept with the head of the bed slightly raised. I was far to uncomfortable lying flat when I got home (breastbone discomfort) and stacking pillows didn't really work. I then got this and got a reasonable nights sleep. Apologies if you saw the original version of my reply but I am having issues posting since my laptop (W10) and phone (Android) got updates!

Hi Michael, notified of both posts thank-you. The back support looks good, our caravan bench seats have that facility to angle the back up for reading / watching tv etc' may try sleeping in there for a couple of nights with the back up and see if it works. After reading some other posts on here one of the suggestions I tried was to sit upright using extra pillows for comfort and just resting, this has helped but could still do with more sleep.



MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Just bouncing as not sure if OP is notified that I have sorted out original response!

Hi. You may also like to try wrapping a pillow in a sheet (like an old fashioned long bolster pillow - showing my age here!)and tucking it in at the bottom of the bed. This will help prevent you sliding down the bed as the feet push against it - if that makes sense! And perhaps a small pillow/cushion under the knees just to aid the knee joints for comfort which stops them getting hypertension. If you find it uncomfortable in this weather then keeping sheets in a plastic bag in the freezer will help as well. Take care And hope your sleep improves. Zena

Sorry spell check should read hyper extension!

Hi givemesunshine - lovely name !

The others are offering great advice,but from a nurse point of view, it might also be a good idea to see your GP, as shortness of breath on lying flat is a classic symptom associated with heart valve problems -which may have been your reason for seeing them in the first place. It could be that your medication could be adjusted/reviewed in that respect. This is why a classic question that doctors often ask people is how many pillows someone needs when they assess them!

It doesn't suit everyone,but sometimes taking the odd sleeping tablet does help,if the old fashioned remedies aren't working! Have a chat with your GP to see if that's an option.

I hope you don't have to wait too long for your surgery. If you want to talk anything through with one of the cardiac nurses on the heart helpline, the number is 0300-330-3311. There is someone to talk to Monday- Friday from 9-5.

I hope I've helped.

Keep us posted and take care.


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