AFib and Heart-Healthy Sleep Habits

AFib and Heart-Healthy Sleep Habits


Creating Routines for Heart-Healthy Sleep Habits


Although it may surprise you, for some people, getting good sleep can go a long way to lessen the AFib burden and reduce the number of atrial fibrillation flare ups you have.

Practice these healthy habits for improved sleep patterns that will also help give your heart the best odds for health too. Dr. Don Weaver, a sleep professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, advises everyone, particularly those who may want to improve their quality of sleep, to follow these basic guidelines:

Maintain a regular sleep schedule


It may seem rigid to be centered on a certain time for bedtime, but your body will naturally develop routines if you do, which can lead to better rest.

Wind down with routines that help signal to your body it’s time for rest


In the two hours before bedtime, find ways to allow yourself to start to unwind mentally and physically.

Make your bedroom quiet and comfortable


Dr. Weaver says, “Good sleepers cultivate strong mental associations of physical relaxation, mental calm, and good sleep with their bedtime, bed, bedroom, and bedtime rituals (like tooth brushing and setting the alarm clock). Most people can learn better sleeping habits by establishing and strengthening these same associations.”

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine products later in the day

  • The health risks of smoking, particularly for those with AFib, are well documented. Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant to your nervous system, and evening stimulants create brain activity that is incompatible with sleep.
  • Alcohol is not a productive sleep aid. Research has shown that although one to two drinks within two hours of bedtime may assist with falling asleep, it tends to disrupt a person’s ability to stay asleep and get adequate rest.
  • Also, Dr. Weaver says, “drinking alcohol before bedtime tends to relax the muscles of the throat and to suppress awakening mechanisms, thereby making snoring and sleep apnea episodes more likely, sometimes to the point of being life-threatening.”


Get adequate physical activity


Physical activity is not only good for the purpose of increasing your heart rate and helping you become more alert and focused, having a daily time for exercise helps your body recognize cues for sleep and rest more fully once asleep. Dr. Weaver adds, “In the interest of improving sleep, the best time to exercise is in the late afternoon.”

Better sleep leads to all-around better functioning, mood, and ability to manage the details of life. Taking small steps to improve the quality of your sleep is likely to reward you with an enriched sense of well-being.

Recent Discussions From The At Home Forum
PeposD avatar

Was diagnosed with persisitent Afib in early Feb.Had failed cardioversion in March,Now they want to use a two week dose of Amiodorone and then a second Cardio.Scared of the drug!!I have not yet had the sleep study for Apnea and waitng on a thryroid test.I think those should be done first??

 

KdS27 avatar

How long does your fib last or does it vary by a wide range?  Dr. said I’d had over 100 incidents in last 30 days.  They lasted from less than 15 minutes to 26 hrs.  

Also years ago I could always tell when I was in fib. If it was that much apparently I can’t tell all of them anymore. 

Kevyn57 avatar

Has anyone just used rate control and blood thinner? Is the heart able to pump out enough blood just by using this approach if the atria are always out of whack. Thank you

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