Living with a Pacemaker : I had my... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Living with a Pacemaker


I had my Pacemaker fitted 6 weeks ago. No matter how I try I cannot get in a comfortable position to sleep. Has anyone experienced this and can you give me any advice please

12 Replies

I've got a icd fitted it took about 10 weeks b4 it bedded into me now I don't know it's there lol

Try cuddling a pillow or rolled up towel to your chest at night, it just helps put a bit of support on your chest muscles and the pacemaker. After a while you won’t notice it.


It took me a few months before I felt my device had really settled in. Since then I've been able to sleep comfortably in any position, very rarely aware of device at all. In the meantime, as Wendy suggested, pillow props are a good idea. It will get easier! Good luck :)

I’m coming up for 6 weeks too. I’m not yet sleeping comfortably, but it’s getting better every night, slowly. Everyone has a different experience so it seems. It might take many months, but everything that I hear from others with experience of a PM tells me that I’ll be sleeping soundly every night, eventually. We’ll get there.

I was told when I left hospital that it would take 6 to 12 months to get used to the ICD and it was about 6 months before I could sleep in any position, but now, 2 years on I sometimes forget that it's there.

Had mine fitted almost six months ago and still get the odd twinge, mine touches my collarbone at times when I roll into my left side which is uncomfortable but it does take time to bed in.


Hi it took me months before I could sleep on my side, 10 months later it still digs into me occasionally, if I turn to quick, I don't notice it when I am up and about char xx

Hi Nov. Had my icd fitted in July. It took me about 8-10 weeks to be able to sleep "normally" on my right side, and although I can now sleep on my left side, my brain seems reluctant to let me. When sleeping on my right, I have to pat down the icd when I turn over, as it stands out! No one told me about that. Revolting! :)

Hi nov19, I’ve had my pacemaker a year now and don’t often get discomfort but I certainly did for the first few months. I was totally aware of it all the time. I coped in bed by sleeping propped up on a v shape pillow so my arms lay down the arms of the pillow if you see what I mean. I moved around a lot less then which seemed to help. Eventually you do get used to lying in your side again. Good luck! Helen

Hi have had my pacemaker for 5 months and found sleeping uncomfortable at first. I can sleep fine now and barely notice the device at all. Hopefully this will be your experience also.

Use a v shaped pillow, I used this for a good few months. I'm not big chested so unfortunately my pace maker is visible under the scar and rubs against my collar bone where the cables sit. Best of luck

Yeah, it’ll get easier but I find now if I sleep on my right hand side it softens the pressure. I wake up in a different position but I don’t care as I’m asleep. My ICD felt weird for a while but it’s been in for 5 months so I’m used to it.

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