Trouble sleeping: I’m a new heart... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Trouble sleeping

Lilyrosy profile image

I’m a new heart patient and had CABG x4 6 weeks ago. Sleep was a huge problem initially as had horrendous delirium under anaesthetic and that continued even when I returned home after 12 days. All exacerbated by having to have 2nd procedure as bleeding internally. I’m so much better now and although hallucinations have ceased the 6 weeks of wearing green stockings was uncomfortable and also having to have raised feet because of swelling where arteries were removed from my legs. My big question is am I allowed to sleep on my side, a question I forgot to ask the consultant at my 6 week check?

4 Replies
MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Hi and welcome to the forum! The guidelines for returning to sleeping on your side seem to vary from six to twelve weeks. As you had two procedures I suggest it might be best to ring the cardiac team on Monday. BTW in some quarters they reckon it is better for your heart to sleep on your right side rather than your left.

On s technicality they would have taken veins not arteries from your leg.


I had cabg x 4 in July and still can't sleep for long on my right side, due to cracked/ broken ribs during the procedure, it's quite brutal I was told afterwards! Left side is not a problem, but occasionally I have woken in the night sleeping face down which was uncomfortable and the cause of much grunting and groaning trying to right myself. I think your body will let you know during the night/ day which position it finds most comfortable.

It really depends on how well your bones are all knitting together. There is no absolute right or wrong answer here. I think it took about 6-8 weeks for me to feel moderately comfortable sleeping on my side but even now, almost 12 months on from my CABG x 3, I do not sleep as well lying on my right side as I used to - and my op was just about as straight forward as these things ever are. My advice is to err on the side of caution - try it and see how it feels - if its too uncomfortable, you have your answer.

Hi there Lilyrosy. Just think how a bloke feels wearing the stockings ! It's almost 3 years since my CABGx4 and all I can say is, Don't rush things. If it feels uncomfortable don't do it. Time really is a great healer. There will always be a few niggling problems that may or may not be associated with the bypass. I've just had to adjust my medication after all this time but it's just a matter of learning to live with things. Must admit though, I sort of er... enjoyed the weird dreams and hallucinations.

Good luck on the recovery


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