Anxiety and Nightmares

Anybody familiar with intense anxiety and nightmares after have pacemaker surgery.  I had my surgery last Wednesday and now too scared to sleep.


long and short of it

by Booster - 2020-03-23 02:24:14

Short version: we all have some anxiety. Set a bed time and stick to it. Turn off all possible distractions. Time heals all!

Long version:

defibrillator in 17, been shocked 3 times for Afib. HR over 230

MI in 06, chest cracked twice for bypass, and stints twice. Left and right sided CHF

most nights I sleep ok. Have an ablation scheduled (maybe) on April 8th. As u can see with how late this is tonight isn’t one of them. 

Talk about your concerns and trust the little device is there to make a better life. 

Anxiety +Nightmares

by Tem - 2020-03-23 04:59:53

I had the same experience. Had 3  nocturnal panic attacks after surgery + had 3 trips to ER not knowing what was happening. They did all the usual tests + said nothing was wrong. Following the last episode I was to afraid to go to sleep, which made it worse. Finally asked my GP to give me a mild tranquiliser so I could sleep. Once I had a good nights sleep + I was aware of what was happening ie anxiety + not pacemaker malfunction I gradually improved. It took a while but you do get there. Even though I am normally very relaxed the trauma of surgery + having a pacemaker has a very real effect on many of us, + takes time for acceptnce + recovery. 

Totally understand

by JaeJae - 2020-03-23 09:30:23

I have been feeling the same having mine put in last Monday.

I found that last night and tonight I'm definately feeling more relaxed about it (it's been a week today). Its an odd feeling and it made me quite anxious. I havent cried in years and I cried myself to sleep the first few nights. For me the pain is going away so I'm not noticing it so much and maybe that's why I'm worrying less about it.

Hopefully the same happens for you! 

If you're not feeling better soon have a chat to someone who may be able to help aorjnd the anxiety. :)

Anxiety and nightmares

by Gemita - 2020-03-23 10:57:46

Dear Roxannet,

I am sorry you are suffering anxiety and nightmares following your pacemaker implant.  I hope that with time you will be able to put complete trust in your new little friend which is there to help you.  It took me three months to feel comfortable and at ease with being paced.  

When I was experiencing nightmares and anxiety some months ago which I put down to stress over health problems (my own and my husband's) I mentioned the nightmares to one of my doctors.   He was very reassuring and helpful and told me that beta blockers (a common medication for many of us) can be associated with increased sleep disturbances and yes, with nightmares.  Beta blockers apparently can reduce nocturnal melatonin secretion, disturbing sleep.  I know my nightmares started around the time I started my beta blocker, Bisoprolol.  Since reducing dosage, my nightmares have stopped, although hubby's continue (but they are pleasant dreams he tells me!!)

I hope you feel better soon


It's normal

by Theknotguy - 2020-03-23 12:02:04

Post pacemaker implant it's normal to be concerned about whether or not your pacemaker will work reliably.  As the other person said, it took me several months before I finally accepted that my pacemaker would continue to work reliably.  Logically I knew it was working but emotionally I had a really hard time trying to accept the fact that it was. I feel the biggest help was from this forum where it was explained that, even if your pacemaker would totally fail (highly unlikely), you still had a minimal heart beat that would keep you alive until you could get to someplace that could replace your pacemaker.  

I also had the weird dreams due to beta blockers.  Only my dreams were serial.  I'd have part 1 on the first night, then part 2 on the second night.  Sometimes I'd pick up a dream I had had from several nights before.  Really weird.  Gradually that problem went away.  

I had problems post pacemaker implant because they had done CPR and I was really beat up physically.  There were a lot of things going on all at the same time.  

I found a psychologist who specialized in trauma and heart problems.  (Yes, there are people like that out there.)  I worked with her for several months.  She was a great help.  

Now, at six years out I'm doing fine and leading a "normal" life.  Just had to have my pacemaker adjusted because it wasn't keeping up with me.  So things do get better.  

So if you find yourself being held back because of your anxiety I encourage you to work with a psych type person.  It can be a great help.  


by WazzA - 2020-03-23 13:34:22

I can't honestly say I've not had anxiety after my PM implant that came before, wondering as I settled down to sleep if I were going to wake up again as my heart slowed into the 20bpm range during sleep! 

However since I have been on beta blockers really horriffic violent nightmares have been a curse! I have discussed a possible change of meds with my EP/cardio but so far NO change other than increased dosage!

Beta Blockers and Nightmares

by Marybird - 2020-03-24 21:40:17

I have taken beta blockers ( metoprolol) for the better part of 18 years, and can't say they've caused nightmares. I have my share of wierd dreams, maybe those were caused by the beta blocker but I assumed it was just my old wierd self. In any case, the metoprolol ( along with diltiazem these days) does an excellent job at keeping my atrial tachycardia under control, so a few wierd dreams or other minor side effects are worthwhile tradeoffs. 

I've had my pacemaker for close to 10 months now, and have to say I have slept better since I got the pacer than I had for a long time before that. I worried that I would dislodge the leads in my sleep or at some other time inadvertently but I wasn't unduely anxious about having the pacemaker otherwise.

For the first 2-3 weeks after I got the pacemaker I took 2 acetominophen PM tablets at bedtime to help with the discomfort, and so I wouldn't mind sleeping on my back the entire night. These helped a great deal.

You know you're wired when...

You play MP3 files on your pacer.

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