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Sleeping problems due to fear of heart failure

N

NordicGuy

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Dec 30, 2014
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46
As the title says, I'm unable to fall asleep because I fear that my heart will suddenly stop. I get irregular heartbeats from time to time, and I know that's normal, but I had a very scary episode yesterday where I thought that I was about to die. I had awoken and was about to fall asleep when again when I suddenly felt my heart stop and keep a pause for a few seconds. During those three seconds or so, I feared for my life and imagined my parents finding my dead body. It was very scary and I stayed awake for hours afterwards. Now I'm in bed and trying to fall asleep, but I'm afraid of slowing down my breathing because of what happened, and I don't want it to happen again. As I said, I know that irregular heartbeats are normal and that it's mainly psychological, but that doesn't really help. I have a routine check on my heart this thursday, however, so I'm hoping that that'll help. Also, to make matters worse, I'm afraid of the dark, so I actually have two problems that keep me from sleeping.

TL; DR: My heart paused for a few secs yesterday, and now I can't fall asleep because I fear it'll happen again and I'll die.
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

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Oct 23, 2014
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1,079
It must be a horrible thing to go through but hopefully you'll feel reassured once you've had your routine test in a few days.

The trouble with anything that we're worried about is that it makes us about 50 times more aware of it and it almost becomes obsessive.

Have you tried any distraction techniques for whenever you start thinking about your heartbeat? As you're going to sleep, have you tried listening to music (the radio or a CD) or reading a book so that you can concentrate fully on that? I find that 'music mindfulness' is quite helpful.
 
N

NordicGuy

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Dec 30, 2014
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46
Yeah, I hope so too. But the weird thing is, I already know I'm quite healthy, but yeah, it's probably my focus on it that ruins it for me.

Well, I usually distract myself by surfing the web on my phone, but the light it emits just ruins one's sleep. So I'll definitely try your suggestions, esp. the music one. Thanks!
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

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Oct 23, 2014
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1,079
I hope it works for you. If not, it might just be a case of trying different things and finding what suits you best.

This might sound silly but I sometimes use a problem of sorts - more often than not, a cryptic crossword puzzle that I can't solve - and try to work it out as I go to sleep! I think it works in a similar way to the music; something to concentrate on and lose yourself in for a while. Either that, or I just bore myself to sleep :)

Anyway, let us know how you get on.

Take care.
 
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