AF terrible sleeping dilema.

Posted , 8 users are following.

In October 2016 I started to have problems while out cycling, as the weeks wore on I got a very bad cough and breathing problems. My GP failed to diagnose the AF thinking it was exercised induced asthma and it was not until I went to my local A&E with very bad breathing problems in December where the AF was it was properly diagnosed.

It is now February 2017 and I have got a terrible problem. I started to have problems sleeping, I also have Type Two Diabetes and should I over do the carbs I quickly fall asleep after a meal. My problem is this because of the water builds up in my lungs brought on by the AF. When I am asleep I wake up in a bit of a panic struggling to breath. I have to sit on the side of the bed for quite some time before I can go back to sleep. More often I am unable to go back to sleep and I have to get up so as not to disturb my wife.

Recent development during bedtime I can no longer sleep normally, I may fall asleep but 5 to 10 minuets later I will wake up with breathing problems this can go on all day and all night. A second visit to A&E resulted in being advised to double the dose of water tablets for a day to see if this helps the situation. Sadly this did not help but rather it made me dehydrated which cause other problems.

My current situation is, on Monday I am to have a change of water medication to see if this helps. How I am dealing with this is to deliberately over do the carbs at meal times, which literally knocks me out for 2 - 3 hours. None of this is any good for my T2D.

This is a horrific situation to be in, I have lied on my bed with a pillow elevating my hips so any water in my lungs will flow and I can then bring it up and rid my self of it. This helps with my breathing but I am still unable to get any sort of sleep, as I am still experiencing the breathing problems mentioned above even after I have cleared my lungs of water. As you can imagine I am very worried and very tired. 

Any one out there who can suggest some thing I am at the end of my tether.


0 likes, 8 replies

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Robert.. Water in the lungs is called pulmonary and is usually a symptom of more advanced heart disease and not of atrial fibrillation.  I'm not a medical doctor, so I don't really know but I thought I'd mention this here.  Good luck to you

  • Posted

    Robert  - This is not something I can help with but having read your story  I hope you are able to get some professional help.  I know it isn't easy to get it but keep trying.  I have much sympathry for you feeling at the end of the tether.  Good Luck

  • Posted

    Hi Robert, I had similar symptoms before my first ablation and I felt as if I was "drowning" in fluid.

    My cardiologist put me on diuretics and for first couple of weeks I was having to pee about every 15 minutes, that's how much fluid I had accumulated. Also like you I had a cough and trouble breathing.

    I believe that you need to replace fluid with water to keep a healthy balance. The water you drink gets flushed effectively through the body and is good for all your internal organs, keeping them healthy.

    It's a fallacy to think that if you drink it will go to your lungs or heart. Eventually I was able to stop taking the diuretics but still continue drinking about 5 large glasses of water a day because it helps a healthy heart function.

  • Posted

    Hi Robert

    Buy a V-Pillow and a pillow wedge

    The wedge goes under you're pillows and the VPillow goes behind you.

    It sits you up in a secure comfortably position for the night allowing you're lung's to stay clear and your breathing easy.

    Its a trick people with COPD use and has really helped me the last few weeks with a bad chest and sinus infection, my breathing was laboured and non existent through my nose until I tried this set up.

    Good luck with everything Robert!!.

    • Posted

      Robert - all the best for finding a solution. Ever since my mid-30s, I've awakened at least 30 times each night - due to prolapsed disc in neck + 2 in lower-back. (I have to use arms to turn my body/legs - sciatica, numbness in both feet, etc.) So I know the trauma of not being able to get a proper night's sleep. Good luck, Robert.

      Andrew - your experience with pillows+ makes me wonder. Anyone know if AFib can be caused or exacerbated by lying flat on one's back, without any pillow? That's the way I sleep most of each night. For a few minutes, intermittently, I sleep on my Left side, with a pillow to fill the gap between matress and shoulder. I devised this method, after discovering, 21 years (since prolapse of my neck disc, and starting to have AFib, which is constant) that sleeping on my Right side always caused nosebleed and 4-day migraine with vomiting. AFib was only diagnosed 5 months ago.

      Gradually, I have become able to sleep, briefly, on my Right side (relief to constant left upper-leg sciatic pain!), but mainly I am flat on my back without any pillow. Could this affect AFib? Anyone have experience/knowledge, please?

    • Posted

      Its weird you say that Liz, I always slept on my front or right side with only a wafer thin pillow barely an inch thick. I must admit I have wondered if that could have brought on the A-FIB. Since adopting my new sleeping position and method nighttime episode's have been a lot less. I now swear by these big v pillows, funny thing is my dad uses one and I always used to laugh at him saying they are for OAP's yet now I wouldn't be without it. I also swear by having a window slightly open to provide a supply of oxygen rich fresh air in the room plus I now never have the central heating on during the night as think it drys the air out too much.

    • Posted

      Fascinating, Andrew! This may help other readers lots. For me, when I'm lying on my back, any pillow (that is, any 'angle' between head + spine) instantly makes me nauseous, and within about a minute I get headache, extra dizziness and blurred vision. Migaine usually results, often lasting for up to 4 days.

      I aim to ask a neurologist (when I eventually get a debut appointment) whether my pillowless 21-year ordeal has been due to the serious prolapse of a disc in my lower-neck, or whether one of my pair of Vagus Nerves is pinched. (My jaw was dislocated, and one shoulder too, at the same time as my C5/C6 disc prolapse.)

      I can't sleep with top half of bed raised, because I have 2 adjacent prolapsed discs in my lower-back, with resultant sciatica in both feet + constant pain and muscle-spasm in left upper-leg.

  • Posted

    Thanks I'll give every ones advice a try. Awake again tonight 6th night in a row. I did manage to have a nap around midday today. I had a nice hot bath then I laid on my bed with my legs over the edge. I drifted off for 2 hours but woke up with a massive headache and slight stabbing pains all over my body, took pain killers and things soon returned to normal. At my last GP visit my GP mentioned A Flutter. I think if I have A Flutter this would go some way to explain why I seem to be constantly in a state of AF rather than dipping in and out as I have heard others do. This evening/morning I will do more research into A Flutter.

    Thanks again

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