Welcome to the Afibber’s Forum
Our 18th Year Online!
Moderated by: Shannon Dickson

Afibbers Home Afibbers Forum General Health Forum
Afib Resources Afib Database Vitamin Shop

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Sleep Apnea as a trigger

Posted by Ghost 
Sleep Apnea as a trigger
December 25, 2017 09:42PM
As I learn more and more about afib, can I ask the group about the connection between sleep apnea and afib? I do not believe I have sleep apnea under normal circumstances (wife says I do not snore - though I will do a full sleep study to confirm this) but when I've had too much wine, I tend to snore - sometimes with abrupt interruptions. From what I read, alcohol enhances the relaxation in the breathing to the point where sleep apnea can present itself.

What I am trying to determine is how sleep apnea leads to an afib attack. Not the why, but the when. For example, as previously stated, I've had only two episodes of afib - 9 months apart. One occurred in the middle of the night (I woke to use the lav and then bam) and one in the afternoon sitting at my home office desk. Both occurred after nights of relatively heavy drinking. Ignoring for the moment that alcohol itself can be a trigger, is it possible that sleep apnea can be a causal in these cases, even taking into account an afternoon attack? Can sleep apnea contribute despite the attack being a good 7 hours later?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/25/2017 09:44PM by Ghost.
Re: Sleep Apnea as a trigger
December 25, 2017 11:02PM
Anything’s possible, but I’d guess that dehydration and electrolyte depletion in the wake of alcohol overconsumption are far more likely culprits. Sleep apnea is more of a chronic thing, making your heart work harder than it should nightly as O2 sats drop. Over time that enlarges the heart and thus the left atrial diameter that we all know is critical in AF genesis.
Re: Sleep Apnea as a trigger
December 26, 2017 01:29AM
Ditto to wolfpack's answer. Sleep apnea doesn't trigger afib so much as it actually causes it. It does that slowly over a period of years via the chronic hypoxia it causes while you're sleeping. Treating SA won't usually stop afib completely, but it probably will slow or stop its progression and prevent it from becoming worse, and it usually reduces the frequency of episodes.
Re: Sleep Apnea as a trigger
December 26, 2017 07:58AM
Understood, thank you again.
Re: Sleep Apnea as a trigger
January 07, 2018 06:52PM
I have sleep apnea but other things triggered my afib. But given that sleep apnea has so many other issues. I was never sleepy during the day, which is part of the test questions they ask you - however my sleep study showed that I needed a pretty high number from the machine - 19. You might want to consider having a sleep study just to make sure.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login