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MizTerriMom, February 9,  2019  4:07pm EST

A-fib and napping

I am recently out of the hospital after my first episode of AFib. I was able to convert back to normal rhythm with just the medication they provided in the IV. I am to do a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea as I understand that is a possible cause. My problem is I don't sleep well at night and I do nap during the day and I've been reading that that can cause problems as well. Any opinions on this.

  • Jeanamo815
    Jeanamo815, February 9,  2019  4:29pm EST

    Welcome to our forum, MizTerriMom! 

    Many members of our group have been diagnosed with sleep apnea which can often be involved in cases of a-fib.  It is good that you are having a sleep study to determine if have sleep apnea. It may be the reason you do not sleep well at night....then have to nap during the day because of that lack of sleep.  I hope you are seeing an electrophysiologist  for  your a-fib.  It is important to be in the care of an experienced doctor who can  advise the treament that is best in your particular case.  Your sleep study can be important in determining why you are having a-fib episodes.  Let us know how it goes!

    Wishing you the best,


    (My A-fib Experience Community Leader) 

  • MellanieSAF
    MellanieSAF, February 10,  2019  11:04am EST

    I concur with what Jean said. Good luck. The sleep study is very important since 50% to 70% of those with afib also have sleep apnea.


  • Rogochef
    Rogochef, February 10,  2019  11:40am EST

    Indeed.  do have the sleep study.  When Dx'ed with Afib this past April, one of the first things my cardiologist did was set up a sleep test.   TWO overnight tests later, Complex Sleep Apnea was Dx'ed and I was put on permanent ASV (Adaptive Servo Ventilator) therapy.  I was aware only of obstructive sleep apnea and the CPAP machine and was totally unaware of central sleep apnea which is a nervous system problem wherein the brain occasionaly fails to send signals to the diaphram to breathe.   Not good.   I was tested with CPAP, BPAP and ASV.   The ASV works and I have had good sleep since.  That said, sleep apnea may cause AFIB (according to my cardiologist and what I read) but breathing machines to not address the AFIB problem other than providing sleep and perhaps an answer as to why one has the condition.  I have the usual Eliquis and Metoprolol meds and the afib continues despite all my efforts to avoid possible triggers such as alcohol, sugar, caffine, red meats and so on.   I have had a very slow HB for years which became irregular 3 years ago with increasing "gaps" in the HB.  I was fitted with a pacemaker shortly after the the AFIB and sleep apnea was dx'ed as I have not only the irregular HB issues, but also have an AV block which necessitated at two lead PM.  Now by night time breathing issues are resolved and the PM is working fine, but neither "cure" AFIB so that issue continues.   Next I go for consultation for ablation and will inquire about Watchman and Lariat procedures as well.   Isn't this fun!   NOT...  P.S.   Regarding napping:   The AFIB makes it difficult for me to stay awake while trying to read, but I do not nap during the day anymore as I prefer 8 hours of good sound night time sleep.  I am now finding that by really working on it, I can fight off the "nods" while reading.   You might also expect to experience fainting spells which are alarming for sure.   I have had one and spent the night in the ER/hosp observation area while undergoing all sorts of tests and just learned that syncope is part of the AFIB "fun".    I guess the good news, if there is any, is that for most of us AFIB is not fatal.   Good Luck 

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, February 10,  2019  2:09pm EST

    I'm still trying to re-master my CPAP Mask seating and sealing correctly again. Yes, I've reluctantly wore my Respironics Phillips CPAP machine every night. I saw my Sleep Center CPAP tech/trainer lady a week ago and she showed me that I was wearing the mask and heargear wrong. Ok, I'm trying to retrain my installation and seating techniques of my mask and nasall pillow. Wish me good luck.  I think i'm getting 4-5.5 hours of use nightly. My primary care doctor even told me to wear CPAP mask during  my afernoon naps. Really.  I may request another appointment with my sleep respiration office again. Maybe something I'm doing or my face or setting have changd. Time for some more help I think.  I'm not cancelling my short afternoon naps yet.  That's another way I get re-energized for more E.E.C.'ing in the evening. Exercising seems, no does help me breathe so much easier. Not gonna give up 2X/day exericisng or CPAP machine use either.


  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, February 11,  2019  8:28am EST

    Big believer in fixing apnea here! On my first EP visit, they set up the sleep study - It took a tweak to the pressure setting, but the CPAP may have been to main reason my afib episodes became a lot less frequent — I hadn’t been sleeping well for years before the afib, but neither I nor PCP suspected apnea. 

  • Rogochef
    Rogochef, February 11,  2019  11:30am EST

    RE mask fitting on CPAP , BPAP and ASV machines.  Getting the right mask, right fit is a bit of a problem for some.  The people "assisting"  me with the machines  have not personally slept with any machine and are not that knowledgeable about mask issues.  I had to pretty much figure it out myself.   First, I had the mask too loose and was getting a lot of leakage.  Even now, 9 months later, I still have periodic leakage, especially in the early morning hours which often necessitate my tightening the mask some more.   Second, I have found that the full mask is by far the better fit for me with the pillow mask the worse.  The pillow tends to be more restrictive although the overall feel is better .   Each person needs to spend a few nights with full and abbreviated masks to determine what works best.   If I could shout to the providers, PLEASE BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THESE ISSUES.  I would suggest that all the people involved in sleep therapy be required to sleep with a CPAP or other machine for at least a week to personally experience the mask fitting issues.   

    It also makes sense to use the machines whenever one sleeps be it the full night or daytime nap.  Apnea like AFIB does not tend to take time off.  

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, February 11,  2019  1:09pm EST

    I exactly echo your response, Rogochef. 

    "PLEASE BECOME MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THESE ISSUES.  I would suggest that all the people involved in sleep therapy be required to sleep with a CPAP or other machine for at least a week to personally experience the mask fitting issues.   I to am not happy with the fit and leakage of my Nasal Pillow type mask. What is my problem you may ask? When i try to tighten the straps to prevent leakage around the nasal pillow i get red scrapping marks on my upper cheeks. Not fun. 

    When I loosen the straps I go back to the leakage of air and I can not get to sleep. Hearing air rush is not conducive to my sleeping pattern.  

    Should I call my Pulmonologist office and get an appointment to see what is going wrong?? I've got a feeling that the Pulmonologist staff will just tell me to go see my CPAP machine distributor technician peoples.   What should I do, anybody from my CPAP friends?


  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, February 12,  2019  8:18am EST

    I agree with Rogochef and Depotdoug that anyone involved in diagnosing and providing equipment for sleep apnea should have to go through fitting and sleeping with it themselves.  I won't repeat the horror story that my original pulmonologist was (no apnea details; don't ask questions,etc.).  The "technician" who furnished my CPAP equipment was a sweet young thing, but also knew nothing about fitting masks, etc.  It finally dawned on me that they are there to sell equipment, not show you how to use it.  I once asked her if she ever went on-line to see what kinds of questions and problems CPAP users were having -- she really didn't know what I was talking about.  There are a couple of on-line sleep apnea forums, but they are set up differently from StopAFib.org, and I didn't find them helpful (although someone else might).  ResMed has a series of little short movies to show you how to wear and adjust your mask -- they might be helpful. I watched the one about using the nasal pillow and noticed that when adjusting it, the person tipped it up a little, which was helpful to me, for getting a good seal.  As for red marks from the straps, I always got some of those, even though I used the pads around the straps, which they furnished.  These red marks generally disappeared by the time I needed to face the public.  Sometimes, just asking around among your friends and finding out who else uses a CPAP can be helpful, too.  All the best--

    Thumper2 (Judy) 

  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, February 12,  2019  9:36am EST

    Yes to above! During second pressure-testing sleep study the techs insisted I use a nasal pillow type mask even though I tried to tell them my nose was often congested. I struggled with it several hours including the awful chin strap. At sleep clinic I insisted that the prescription be changed to a full-face type mask. Strap tension still needs fiddling with but maybe that type of mask is easier to deal with - only problem is my glasses don’t work with it. Later I asked about a certain semi-full face mask but the tech said most patients didn’t like it - so they had at least some second-hand knowledge. 

  • MellanieSAF
    MellanieSAF, February 12,  2019  10:18am EST

    My experience is that you're pretty much on your own to figure out how to best fit your mask. I've found the folks with the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) companies to be worse than useless when it comes to helping with that.

    When I first started with my CPAP more than a decade ago, I found the resources at the CPAP Talk Forum (http://cpaptalk.com/CPAP-Sleep-Apnea-Forum.html) to be great (I still think it is the most useful sleep apnea forum for me). I was trying to make my ResMed Mirage Quattro full-face mask too tight; when I got the hang of making it loose so it would float on my face, things were good.

    But, last year at my sleep study, I was given a different kind of full-face mask, the ResMed AirTouch F20 for Her. It has a memory-foam liner, making leaks more prominent. It took a long time before I got rid of all the leaks with it. It has to fit precisely, and fairly tightly, to eliminate leaks. But, I sleep really well with it now. It takes a lot of patience to optimize the fit.

    We're all pretty much on our own to optimize our mask fit and CPAP use. Don't rely on the DME. In my experience, they are a huge waste of time. 


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