Sleeplessness & Recovery

6 weeks in to a PM for slow heart rate and long pauses(syncope) difficulty sleeping and anxiety, not anywhere near vigorous exercise I was doing before. EP, Cardiologist, Internist all say sleeplessness is anxiety so gave me some meds for sleep/anxiety. Anyways I think my low end is set at 60bpm...If my sleeping rate was lower before could the sleeplessness be because the low bpm(6) is set to high ?

Lastly I have tech's and EP's telling me 6 weeks I am good to resume everything vs. some telling me I should really wait 12 weeks...Any thoughts ?


My story

by bowlrbob - 2007-12-15 10:12:40

I was told 2 months by one EP but the Dr. i was transferred too. Said I would have no restrictions after 1 month. I went back to a full schedule then. no problems. Still go with your main Dr's. instructions. My pacer is set at 70 bpm and i have very little problems sleeping. It very well could be anxiety. This will get better as you and your pacer get used to each other. Bowlrbob

I don't think so

by boatman50 - 2007-12-15 11:12:29

Like Bowlrbob my lower rate is set at 70 bpm. Like you I have trouble sleeping from time to time from anxiety and PTSd. However I can also get to sleep when I take a nap and when I first go to bed at night. Sometimes I take half an ambien to help me sleep but again I think its anxiety.
I took it easy for 8 weeks before easing into working out and such. Take your time and soon you will not even know its there.


by ctfc40 - 2007-12-16 01:12:23

Thanks for the help and responses...actually helped me sleep a little last night for brief periods w/o ambien...anyways anxiety appears to be the shock of the speed at which this all happened and my age 45 and general health - athlete warning signs and some fear of having another syncope event(confidence is somewhat shot) anyways people and counselor i started seeing say its healthy reaction and hopefully acute as to the level I feel at times. Appreciate all the responses !


What I think...

by ela-girl - 2007-12-16 01:12:30

My EP said 6-8 weeks before resuming activities. I guess depending on what you want to do, the best thing is to ease into activity and listen to your body's response. All of us posting here to your questions have the same conditions (more or less) that lead to a pm. Personally, I have trouble sleeping still and think it is because my bpm is set at 60 when my heart used to beat MUCH lower than that while at rest. I happen to pace A LOT while I'm sleeping. It has gotten better and I know one pacer here, Karen, has her lower limit drop to 45bpm between the hours of midnight and 4 or 6 am. I'm sure she'll chime in to your post. While her bpm's drop, it is to save battery life and not to aid sleep, I believe.

May I ask where you feel your anxiety is coming from? It sounds like you may not be totally convinced that this is your problem. My personal experience is that doctors tend to push meds more often then they should because they either don't know how to help you, are too lazy to help you, or have too much pride to ask other doctors to help. Or they don't believe you! Anyways...

I hope you are able to find some answers here and come up with some more questions for your doctors!

Happier Pacing,

what I've heard

by sandrac - 2007-12-16 03:12:41

Before I got my ICD, someone told me that it's not uncommon to experience things like moodiness or depression, or sleeplessness, after heart surgeries. I imagine the same applies to any disturbance of your heart, such as having leads implanted. It's changing the rhythm your heart (and body) have become accustomed to, so I would imagine it's not surprising that it can impact other systems and the chemistry of your body. Also, sleep disturbances can also impact moods and body function.

I, too, had been very active before experiencing the symptoms that lead to my heart condition. I think I was 48 when first diagnosed with cardiomyopathy after having some congestive heart failure after a minor car accident. It took me a couple of years to accept that it wasn't going to go away. It was scary thinking I would have to rely on this thing in my chest to keep my heart beating correctly for the rest of my life. But, it has improved the way I feel, and I think of it as my insurance to help me do what I want to do. I went through the sleeplessness and an occasional emotional roller coaster for a while, but I'm 9 months into it and am back to relatively normal sleep patterns, and I can do my favorite activity (ballroom dancing) once again. So, I hope maybe it will help you to know that what you are going through is normal recovery.


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