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
Pegster1338 avatar

I am scheduled for a cryoablation on Nov 30.  I asked the doctor a million questions plus I have read a lot here.  I forgot to ask one question though.  How long does it take to perform the ablation?  Would you happen to know a normal length of time?  Not that it matters.  I just wondered.

depotdoug avatar

Good evening my fellow AFIB friends, everyone trying to stay NSR and healthy cardiac lifestyles.  

My AICD/pacemaker interrogation last Tuesday showed My RA(right atria) pacing lead 7.7yr old is noisy may be fractured. May probably need extraction and new one fed shoved back in. Anyone have any experience in having an ICD Pacemaker lead removed replaced?? 

I’ve got << 4 months left Battery,@ 3months it’s replacement device time. Merry Christmas 🎁 for me....

depotdoug.  Doug 

Duchess avatar

Hi I'm new to posting hope I'm doing this right. I am 72 years old and I've had proximal afib for a year-and-a-half. I'm on eloquest Metropol and flecainide I'm thinking about an ablation in January. But reading some of the blogs has got me concerned. It almost sounds like I'm better off not doing it. Before I came down with Afib I was an absolutely top shape as I have been all of my life my resting heart rate was between 55 and 60 my daytime heart rate was between 65 and 75 had a hard time getting my heart rate up past 125 when I was running. I've been active and athletic all of my life. Since coming down with A-fib even when I'm not in afib I have extreme fatigue not being able to do many things climbing the deck of stairs my heart rate goes up I'm out of breath when I get to the top of the stairs. Even though I am not in AFib. My day time heart rate is between 70 and 125 it's Spikes all day long up and down up and down. My heart rate now drops at least once  night down to 38. After reading the blogs about chest pain And reoccurrences of AFib I wonder if it's the right thing to do. I had an MRI done 2 weeks ago and a special test that revealed 24% arterial fibrosis. I'm wondering if just living with this is the right way to go  any feedback would be appreciated

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