Heart Failure - Living With Heart Failure
Treating your sleep problems
One Man's Story:
"I was having a lot of trouble getting enough sleep. I
was snoring so bad that my wife was sleeping in another room. I'd wake up 7
times a night. Sometimes I'd wake up gasping for breath. The next day I'd be so
tired that I'd fall asleep while doing my woodworking in the garage. And I was
really fuzzy-headed. I couldn't remember anything.
"I thought it
might be my heart failure. So I decided to talk to my doctor about it, and he
suggested a sleep study. I found out that I have sleep apnea. I haven't been
getting enough oxygen because of it. He put me on a CPAP machine at night. I've
used it for the past 4 months.
"It took a little time to get used
to sleeping with a mask. But I'm sleeping much better. Now if I wake up, it's
only once, and I go right back to sleep. I feel so much better during the
This story is based on information gathered from many people living with heart failure.
Many people with heart failure have trouble
sleeping. Your doctor may be able to find out what is causing your
sleep problems and help you get a good night's
- Sleep Apnea: Should I Have a Sleep Study?
- Insomnia: Improving Your Sleep
Having a healthy sex life
Most people with heart failure can
still have an active and safe sex life. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about having sex.
Unfortunately, sexual problems are common. Your
interest may drop, or you may have shortness of breath or other symptoms that
limit your ability to have sex. Men may have erection
Talk to your doctor. You can get
help for erection problems or other sexual troubles.
Other things you can do to take care of
Help for caregivers
It can be rewarding to help a loved one with heart failure. But
it's also a lot of work. And it can be hard emotionally.
If you are taking care of a loved one, make sure that you also take
care of yourself. This can mean taking breaks by getting help from family or
friends. You also may be able to use respite care. These services provide
someone who will stay with your loved one while you get out of the house for a