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
Duchess avatar

Had an ablation at Loyola in Chicago 13th of December I'm now in afib 90% of the time the most painful I have ever had. It's completely debilitating I'm out of AFib for a few hours and then right back into it  one right after the other. until January 1st. January 1st through the 15th I had no a7 no symptoms and then it started all over again 18 days of pure hell . A week after the  ablation they did the thyroid test I was in  the hyperthyroidism. I had told them that I had been diagnosed with Graves disease  . When I first went in for the consultation they took notes. Roughly a week after the ablation. I was in such bad shape my husband and I went in to talk to him. He told us I was just healing. never took a blood test before the surgery. I am an absolute misery I cannot get out of bed I'm out of a afib for to three hours and then in afib 18 hours or more I have severe pain in the right side of my chest and they told me it was all in my head I don't know where to go from here has anybody got any suggestions. I cannot lie flat on the bed my chest hurts so bad I have to sleep sitting straight up of what little sleep I can get please has anybody got any kind of suggestions

Jeanamo815 avatar

Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you this week and hope all goes well!

Your friend,


LuisT avatar

Good evening,

 I am a 45-year-old male who was diagnosed with Afib  on December 18, 2018.  I now have gone through a second cycle of medications and don’t believe in their positive affects.  My cardiologist started me on Diltiazem 30mg 3x a day,  after multiple hypertension episodes and negative side effects I discontinue the medication.  My doctor went on the next regimen of Losartan 25mg, Metoprolol 25mg and Eloquist 5mg during all this time. 


 I have talk to my cardiologist concerning the side effects, I have also done my research as well. But it seems as though some of the side effects that I have explain to my doctor or not necessarily due to the heart medication. She and other doctors believe it is potential anxiety.   My side effects include the following;  headaches, dizziness, jitters,  stomach discomfort (gas), uneasy feelings,  A cool sensation on left chest and sometimes radiating to center of chest, head pulsating, weak, weight loss (20+ lbs).  I have always been athletic and would go to the gym regularly. Now on these new meds I do not find the desire to get into the gym and work out. 

 My question to all of you that have taken these medications is this. Have you felt these types of side effects or anything different from what I have described.  I have not had another episode of proximal Afib  since it was noticed in the hospital the first time. My echo cardio gram and a stress test reveal that everything is fine and strong with my heart and no blockages. So another question would be why am I on these medications?  I do understand the preventative philosophy concerning the condition but it seems like the only thing that is going wrong with me is hypertension. Is hypertension a side affect of  Afib? 

Any insight to my question would be greatly appreciated.

dark overlay when lightbox active