Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  Post CABG Insomnia

    Posted 12-09-2023 22:29

    I'm coming up on 4 months since my triple bypass surgery and have had trouble getting a good nights sleep ever since. Getting to sleep and sleeping through the night was never a problem before my operation. As before, I can get to sleep just fine, but now I constantly wake up around 3am and can't get back to sleep. 

    If this problem is truly a result of the CABG, how long does the average person take to get back to a normal sleep cycle?


    Robert M
    DFW TX

  • 2.  RE: Post CABG Insomnia

    Posted 12-10-2023 08:26


    I've also struggled with open heart post surgery insomnia. I was taking 8 pills after surgery. Heart rhythm  meds, blood pressure meds, blood thinners and psychoactive meds. Any of these could affect your sleep patterns.  Speak to your cardiologist about the drugs you're taking. Ask which can be eliminated from your daily routine or reduced in the amount. Btw, caffeine, in coffee, soda or sports drinks can also cause insomnia. 

    Good luck,


    Victor Fabry, Founder
    Healed Hearts of New Jersey
    Short Hills, New Jersey

  • 3.  RE: Post CABG Insomnia

    Posted 12-10-2023 09:25
    I would think this varies individidual to individual. Have you discussed with your cardiologist or PTP? Are you in a state with legalized marijuana? I know folks who use that as a sleep aid but I'd run it by my physician first.
    Bob Levin

  • 4.  RE: Post CABG Insomnia

    Posted 12-10-2023 10:26

    Hi Robert,

    I had a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery nearly 6 years ago.  I have the same sleep issues as you, but I've had those issues for at least a quarter of a century, maybe longer.  My sleep issues are not at all heart related but likely are very related to the stresses of a very demanding profession as a major international law firm lawyer practicing in an area involving complex financial and business disputes (which I even do now on a part-time freelance basis when I'm supposed to be retired, the stresses of raising a daughter who's now struggling to establish herself as an independent adult, and providing for the financial security of a wife who is ten years younger than me for the time after I have shuffled off this mortal coil.  Add in a perhaps too late night glass of wine and you can understand why I have interrupted sleep.

    What I'm suggesting to you is that perhaps there are factors other than your bypass surgery that may be affecting you now and that weren't issues pre-surgery.  Are you suffering from depression and/or anxiety post-surgery that might now have an effect in sleep patterns?  Many people, perhaps most, experience depression, anxiety, PTSD post heart surgery, and counseling and/or meditation frequently helps.  Are there other issues that might be affecting your sleep that didn't exist presurgery?  You need to explore this.  Some changes can be subtle yet still have a profound effect.

    Finally, speak to your cardiologist to rule out any heart related issues and to give yourself peace of mind.  For what it's worth, I've read many accounts in this site about the problems people have recovering from heart surgery but, aside from pain during the first few weeks after surgery adversely affecting sleep, I don't recall anyone complaining about interrupted sleep related to their surgery that was not complicated by other issues.

    Hope this helps,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Post CABG Insomnia

    Posted 12-13-2023 23:58


    Given you didn't have this problem prior to your surgery, sleep apnea might be a long-shot possibility, however before I got cpap I woke up frequently and often could not get back to sleep.  What I thought was insomnia turned out to be sleep apnea.  Also, as we age the chances of developing sleep apnea increase greatly.  Its easy enough to rule this out and you probably should discuss with your pcp. 

    Keep in mind that you don't need to snore or make any noise to have it.  I never snored, and I have a pretty good case of it!  If it is what you have, you will be very happy to get it treated.  Stay well!

    Ed M