A poorly functioning heart and a lack of sleep often go hand in hand. Heart failure, in particular, can significantly affect how well you sleep. To make things worse, not getting enough sleep can worsen the symptoms of heart failure. If you work with your doctor and implement a few changes to your routine, however, you can stop this cycle in its tracks.
Common Ways That Heart Failure Affects Your Sleep
Heart failure makes it difficult to sleep for four main reasons. First, people with heart failure may need to get up more frequently at night to use the bathroom.
Second, the chest pains and discomfort that are associated with heart failure can make it difficult to get to sleep.
Third, many people with heart failure experience shortness of breath when they lie down at night.
Finally, fluid retention can be an issue. While the fluid that builds up in your body will settle in your feet during the day, it’s more likely to be found in your chest when you lie down. This fluid then causes pressure in your chest, making it hard to breathe.
Sleep Disorders That Are Associated With Heart Failure
Apart from the typical issues that affect a good night’s sleep, research shows that heart failure can be associated with certain sleep disorders.
These disorders include insomnia and periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which is characterized by uncontrollable twitches in the limbs.
With heart failure, you also need to be concerned about two different forms of sleep apnea. The more common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is said to affect up to 70% of people dealing with heart failure.
In this form of sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of your throat