Sleep —- Who Needs It?

“When God gives good times, He wants you to forget him & sleep. When God gives you bad times, He wants you to wake up & face him.”

Editorial note : The following is based purely on observational data. I have NOT conducted any type of actual study to verify any of the following.

Sleep and the heart transplant patient …….

I have met a LOT  (300 to 400, perhaps) of folks that have had heart transplants. As we talk, and share the good and the not so great details of this transplant journey with each other, a common theme is that many of us have some type of sleep problem. Some folk’s sleep issues are worse than others, so I feel somewhat blessed that I have not, to this point, needed to take a prescribed medication to sleep.

My issues seem to manifest themselves for 3 or 4 consecutive nights ….. by then, I am DRAGGING and often feel I could fall a sleep standing up. For me, the falling a sleep part is easy, it’s the STAYING a sleep part I find difficult. I’ll sleep great for 2 or 3 hours initially, then lay there and stare at the ceiling for the next 2 or 3 hours.

“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.” – Charlotte Brontë

During these “restless” times I have analyzed my life to see if I can find an assignable cause …. dietary, my thoughts or worries, my activity (too little/too much?), afternoon naps or down time, medications, lunar cycles, biorhythms, etc.

Recently, most of my issues seem to be centered around some ongoing family problems, but at other times I think my mind works over time on “potential” health issues …. real or imagined, with either myself or some of my closest transplant friends.

I’ve tried all kinds remedies ….. hot baths, no electronics late in the evening, reading, soft music, no caffeine after dinner, a glass of wine, blah, blah, blah …… none of this stuff helps when I’m in a sleepless cycle. At other times, I can sleep, but the quality is poor …..

“Do you know you multitask in your sleep? You can sleep, snore and run in place all at the same time!!”  ~ Mrs My2ndHeartBeat

After about the 3rd or 4th sleepless night ……. I’ll finally take a Benadryl (25 mg) and will find a great, peaceful nights sleep, and the cycle is broken …. for a while anyway.

I’m not sure what causes this, and I have yet to find an actual sleep study of heart transplant patients. Though I know a few other solid organ transplantees, liver, lung and kidney people that seem to have similar sleep problems.

I’m not complaining ….. LIFE IS GOOD and I am FOREVER GRATEFUL ……. just pointing out that there can be some sleep issues.

“While we are sleeping, angels have conversations with our souls.” ~ Author Unknown


About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
This entry was posted in Daily Insight, General, Heart Transplant and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sleep —- Who Needs It?

  1. My dad has sleep issues that sound similar to yours (though he hasn’t had a transplant yet!). Did you have any sleep issues prior to your transplant?

    • DAP says:

      No, actually I slept well before I got sick. But then, I was working a lot in those days and managed on about 5 to 6 hours of sleep every night. Now I need a minimum of 7.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s