New Pacemaker

Hi everyone.. I just had a pacemaker implanted 2 weeks ago and I'm a runner.. my resting heartrate during the day normally ran between 43 and 55... at night it would drop to as low as 38.. now with my pacemaker doctor has it set at 50 during the day and 40 at night.. the problem is I cant sleep or relax because my heart can't get where it used to be.. I cant sleep during the night and cant get relaxed after I run during the day.. has anyone else experienced this?  Your input would be greatly appreciated...


Heart Racing At Night

by Deborahlbnc - 2020-01-15 13:18:38

Hi, yes I have experienced this as well. My heartbeat runs between 70 and 90 all the time.

It wakes me up at night because my heart is racing and it's supposed to be

in sleep mode. I asked about this just yesterday when I went in for my first adjustment,

and she really didn't have an answer for me. 

Sleep mode

by Selwyn - 2020-01-15 13:53:48

On some pacemakers there is a sleep mode setting ( this alters the rate hysteresis).  The PM techs can switch this on/off and set parameters. This will reduce your heart rate when you rest.

I think my PM this happens automatically and it gradually adjusts to periods of inactivity. 

Can be a problem as we travel across time zones!


for evidence of improvement of sleep whilst switching on this function.

Ask your tech. to do this!




Sleeping heart rate

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-15 14:28:46

Your PM tech, with the concurrence of your EP of course, can set a sleep time. Mine is set for 50bpm from midnight to 6:00AM and 80bpm otherwise. There are reasons that your EP may not want your heart as slow as you'd like (you did have Bradycardia) and you will get used to a higher rate. If it's only marginally higher, it won't take long. If you want it changed, negotiate with your EP.  He may have a really good reason things are as they are.

As mentioned above, travel across time zones can be problematic. At my last interrogation the tech (not my normal tech) screwed up the DST=> EST change, so I'm an hour off.


You will get use to it.

by Pacedmyruns - 2020-01-15 15:59:29

You will get use to it. It's only been 2 weeks.  My resting before was 40's and night 30's. I have no sleep mode and I'm set to 45 bpm 24/7I have no issues sleeping. I think 40 is too slow for sleeping. If you got your pacemaker for bradycardia it makes no sense to allow it that low if you were symptomatic. If your not symptomatic then 40 would be ok. I had mine at 40 for a few months and the realized it can't be good for my overall body function. Our bodies need oxygen and adequate blood flow. 

Are you sure it is the pacemaker?

by jcb - 2020-01-15 16:34:58

The difference between 40 and your pre-pm rate of 38 is almost nothing. Could it be that the time in your pm wasn't set properly?  That happened to me in the beginning. Time was about 5 hours off.

I did go from mid twenties before the pm to 40 now with the pm and I do sleep somewhat  lighter. 



How did you sleep before?

by Gotrhythm - 2020-01-15 17:17:28

Your difficulty sleeping post pacemaker isn't unusual. Check the archives. 

Before I got the pacemaker I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. But that was because I was beyond exhausted.

I had to relearn how to go to sleep when I was just tired, not wiped out.


by Joe Newbie - 2020-01-16 03:50:45


Outside of Deborahlbnc who beats 70 -90 you all have low heart rates?

You, have a sleep mode? HUH?

Mine is just like Deborahlbnc it's 80- 24/7 unless I walk around or go shopping then it goes higher. But I have to sleep with it POUNDING 80 bpm all night. If I lay a certain way it makes other parts around it amplify the beat.

How? How did you guys get a sleep mode? 


How? Do you guys get a sleep mode?

by AgentX86 - 2020-01-16 08:54:02

You ask. Settings are all about negotiation with your EP.

Sleep mode isn't available in all PMs

by crustyg - 2020-01-16 11:17:35

Joe Newbie: I don't think BostonSci have a sleep mode - it's certainly not in their BradyRef Guide that covers all their plain PMs (i.e. excluding CRT-x and ICD models).

Jereomyj: I don't believe that a tiny change of resting HR from somewhere in the high 30s to low 40s (bpm) to 50 is really likely to keep you awake.  Focussing on your brand new PM, and the slightly sore pocket if you roll onto that side in bed may well be what's preventing you from falling asleep. Ditto your post-run HR - a change from 43-55bpm to a new minimum of 50bpm isn't going to stop you from relaxing.  I'm also a runner and had a resting HR of about 38bpm last time my PM was stopped, and have now a lower rate of 50 (all the time).  Never stops me resting or sleeping, but the discomfort from the pocket woke me up a few times in the first few weeks post implant.

I suggest that the issue is between your ears!  Tracey_E has pointed out many times that the emotional wounds of a PM heal more slowly than the physical ones.  Your self-image has taken a knock, and suddenly a big part of your life is governed by something over which you have no control.  Actually you do have influence, but that's a negotiation as AgentX86 rightly says.

But it will pass and you will rest and sleep again!

Best wishes.

ill be blunt

by dwelch - 2020-01-18 15:19:50

if the option is get used to it, or die from a fixable heart condition.  I would assume the former is what you would prefer.

Same story low rate all the time, atlhetic, etc.  took me a good part of that year to learn to sleep again, I started at 60bpm after the new pacer, later in the year he lowered it to 50.  this was lower tech than todays pacers, primitive by todays standards, but I got through the transition as all new pacers are a transition in some way.  

Being alive is more important IMO.  this is all perfectly normal.

Thanks for Sharing

by LogisticalGangsta - 2020-01-20 10:38:35

My PM was implanted three days ago and I have slept no more than four hours.  Good to know this will adjust in time.  At night my heart races like mad.  Praying I get sleep before I return to work. 

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I am 100% pacemaker dependant and have been all my life. I try not to think about how a little metal box keeps me alive - it would drive me crazy. So I lead a very active life.