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How can heart failure make it hard to breathe while sleeping?

ANSWER

During the day, you're standing and sitting, so extra fluid would normally settle in your legs and feet. But lie down, and it's going to move up into your chest and throat. This can close in your lungs and airway, making it harder to breathe.

Your doctor might prescribe diuretics to help get rid of that extra fluid. But these medicines don't stop working when you sleep, which can mean interrupting your slumber for a trip or two to the bathroom.

SOURCES:

Medical Clinics of North America : "Sleep in Congestive Heart Failure."

American Heart Association: "Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease, Stroke."

Texas Heart Institute: "Heart Failure."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Causes Sleep Apnea?" "CPAP."

National Sleep Foundation: "How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart."

European Heart Journal : "Insomnia and the risk of incident heart failure: a population study."

European Society of Cardiology: "Insomnia is linked to increased risk of heart failure."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Hygiene Tips."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2019

SOURCES:

Medical Clinics of North America : "Sleep in Congestive Heart Failure."

American Heart Association: "Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease, Stroke."

Texas Heart Institute: "Heart Failure."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Causes Sleep Apnea?" "CPAP."

National Sleep Foundation: "How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Heart."

European Heart Journal : "Insomnia and the risk of incident heart failure: a population study."

European Society of Cardiology: "Insomnia is linked to increased risk of heart failure."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Hygiene Tips."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on May 2, 2019

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What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

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