Is atrial fibrillation a danger of sleep apnea?

by Carolyn M.
(Reynoldsburg Ohio)

My heart keeps going in and out of rhythmic beats. I only sleep a few hours at a time and I wake up every two hours to 3 hrs. at night, and I am always tired.



There is a link between sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation, because obstructive sleep apnea has a significant impact on cardiovascular system.

To understand how serious is obstructive apnea to your heart, here are some problems that can appear in time:

  • heart failure

  • atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia

  • coronary artery disease

  • stroke

  • systemic hypertension and pulmonary hypertension

  • adverse effects on left ventricular pressures and dimensions

Keep in mind that sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation share the same risk factors such as hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

Considering that sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation have the same risk factors, is very possible that irregular heart beats causes obstructive sleep apnea, by sending impulses to the parts of the nervous system that control breathing.

What this means to you? If you have problems with your heart, you might consider getting checked for obstructive sleep apnea, which means spending a night in a sleep laboratory for a sleep study.

The good news is that an effective treatment of sleep apnea with CPAP can acutely decrease your heart problems. However, you should act fast, because some heart problems cannot be remedied.

Be careful with your quality of sleep. Poor quality or insufficient will damage not only the heart, but also the immune system, the circulatory system, hormone secretion, impairment of daytime functioning, excessive daytime sleepiness, and problems with memory.

I strongly recommend a sleep study, just to know if you also have sleep apnea. Then, a successful CPAP therapy can be your key to a healthy life.

Good luck!

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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