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
Cjnobata avatar

I just found this group. I have had 2 ablation last year and this month my AFib has returned. Have a LEE scheduled for next week. My cardiologist will probably suggest another but I am thinking to wait awhile. My question is this: has anyone noticed that drinking just water sets it off. Especially if I gulp it but also some slow drinking. Not ice water , just tap.  I am hesitate to drink and need the water to stay hydrated.


Gene157 avatar



My AF is now coming back with flutter at the same time. Really dragging my tail. Taking Sotalol 80mg 2x a day. One option out is to have the VA node destroyed and the  heart controlled by the pacemaker only, sort of a nuclear approach. No return after that. What is it called ?


Anyone had that done?





Ralewis45 avatar

Hi, I've been on flecinaid 50 mg twice daily for the past couple of weeks along with diltiazem Sr 120 mg once a day.  I've had no Afib episodes since beginning this regime.  However, I do notice some chest tightness when out walking which is what I do for exercise.  Has anyone else had similar experiences with flecinaid?  Should I ask my cardiologist to put me on a monitor for a couple of weeks?

dark overlay when lightbox active