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ce5905, November 5,  2020  9:50am EST

How can you sleep with PVCs?

I would really love to know how in the hell do people get a good night's sleep while enduring a barrage of PVCs at the same time?

To provide some context about my situation, my PVCs started in 2016 and have progressively worsened over the years. Initially, they occurred once in a blue moon. Currently, they occur so often that it would be rare to go a day without an episode. I've seen cardiologists, had echos, and wore heart monitors. Every diagnosis is the same - my PVCs are supposedly "benign".

I also want to drop a note about anxiety because it's a word that is often thrown around with PVCs. If I had to rate my anxiety on a scale of 1-10, I would say it's -1. I have no anxiety. I love what I do for a living. I love my personal relationships with others. I am debt free. I have no drama in my life. I maintain a pretty even emotional baseline at all times. I would confidently say I am less anxious than the majority of the population without any doubt. I also want to provide some background on how some people, such as myself, can sense our PVCs. When I have tried to explain to doctors how difficult it is to sleep because of the noticeable arrhythmia, they often think I am "hyper-aware" of my heartbeat. That is completely incorrect. I am simply aware, not "hyper-aware". I have been able to sense EVERY heartbeat (PVC or normal) for as long as I can remember. I can literally count every beat that occurs at any time of the day due a physical sensation that I feel inside of my body. That is simply a fact that I attribute to my physical composition. It has never bothered me. It has never freaked me out. That's just me. So, considering that I can feel EVER heartbeat, it only stands to reason that the stronger-than-normal heartbeat that occurs after a PVC is extremely noticeable to me. It is those stronger heartbeats that cause a distraction when trying to sleep in the same manner that a sleeping person would be distracted if someone were tapping on their shoulder. My PVC distractions are undeniably physical in nature and not rooted in any type of emotional/psychological cause. I think this is an important point to bring up because I have learned throughout the years that people sense their PVCs differently, with a large number of people being completely unaware of them. Therefore, it is unfair to generalize based on faulty rational that says, "Because I can/cannot feel them, others are exactly the same way."

I'm not a fan of having PVCs, but I can deal with them during the day - no problem. However, I would love to know how in the hell do people sleep during a PVC episode? I would especially like to know how people who, such as myself, are able to sense their heartbeat can successfully sleep. My biggest problem is not PVCs, but rather, the lack of sleep that I experience because of them... and it's the lack of sleep that is disintegrating the quality of my life day after day.

4 Replies
  • TessC
    TessC, November 5,  2020  11:35pm EST

    Have you tried sleeping on a Sleep Number or other bed that can be elevated and adjusted? I ask because when I lay down flat, I sometimes can hear my heartbeats as well, but if I sit up, I don't. I think if I was having the same problem as you every night, I might try a bed frame and mattress that can be adhusted.

    I hope others with similar issues will come on here and give you more tips.  Good luck!

  • Raindrop32
    Raindrop32, November 8,  2020  3:15pm EST

    I agree that PVCs and palpitations are really really annoying when you're trying to sleep. 

    Elevating the upper body also helps me. A cheap version of TessC's adjustable bed is building a pillow nest in your bed. You can even get one of thse big body pillows. 

  • NewPacer73
    NewPacer73, November 13,  2020  9:46am EST

    That would drive me nuts too. I have a lot of benign PVCs, but it doesn't affect my sleep. I think sleep is critical to quality of life big time, so I get what you are saying. What a pain. My only suggestion is to see if there is a way to get you a decent amount of REM and Deep sleep each night, because I don't know how you do your days with that kind of sleep interruption. It wears me out just thinking about it. So, I'd be turning to sleep experts now since this isn't a cardiology or psychologically solveable issue. Maybe the focus is not on the PVCs or the hyperawareness, but on a sleep cycle workup. I sure hope you find your answer. I totally understand your frustration increasing as time wears on.

  • alanw5147
    alanw5147, November 23,  2020  10:55pm EST

    I'm in the same boat. I'm currently on a ZIO patch monitor to see exactly whats going on. But if my Kardiamobile is accurate, and it is, I'm having between 6-12 PVC's per minute. Alot. I don't really notice them as much when I am active or moving. Sitting down or lying down is an issue. Sleeping is a REAL issue. I feel every extra beat in my throat, chest or stomach, like every 4 or 6 seconds. Like you said, the Doctor says they are benign and not to worry (easy for them to say), but he (or she) isn't getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night for multiple nights in a row. 


    I'm like a zombie now. Exhausted....


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