In the United States, 6.5 million adults suffer from heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You’ll feel tired and fatigued during the day because you might suffer from sleep problems as a result of the condition or corresponding problems, such as sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, or orthopnea.
Do you wake up feeling tired and then feel sleepy during the day? Does the drowsiness impact your daily life? These might be symptoms of heart failure or some other cardiac problem. Consider them wake-up calls that you should take seriously and explore the cause.
5. Sleep Apnea
Up to 70 percent of heart failure patients appear to suffer from sleep apnea. There are two forms of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the muscles located at the back of your throat collapse while you sleep. They can close only partially or completely.
- Common central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs in those suffering from severe heart failure and seems more common in men than women. CSA occurs when the brain appears to falter and not send the correct signals for breathing.
Both conditions cause the sufferer to experience a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels, which spurs the body to increase its adrenaline levels and wake you up suddenly. Since you wake up several times a night, you fail to gain a restful slumber and end up tired during the day. The exhaustion only exacerbates heart failure further.
If you suffer from heart failure, then you might start to feel breathless when you lay down. This is a form of paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. The shortness of breath causes you to wake up suddenly after only about one or two hours of sleep. It is believed that the condition is a result of the ventricular pressure in the heart that causes a volume overload.
With orthopnea, you will feel better when you sit up or stand up. In fact, as heart failure progresses, many sufferers can only get a good night’s sleep by sleeping in an upright position, which is why they turn to recliners or hospital beds to gain relief.