Rumour: Poor sleep can lead to an irregular heartbeat.
Truth: This is true.
An irregular heartbeat is often harmless but, in some cases, it can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness or fatigue. Risk factors for an irregular heartbeat include sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where an individual’s breathing constantly stops and starts throughout the night which leads to poor sleep. However, some patients have reported that poor sleep is a risk factor for an irregular heartbeat.
A study determined if poor sleep is a risk factor for developing an irregular heartbeat. This study was published in the Heart Rhythm Society. The study found that individuals that reported frequent awakening during the night have an approximately 33% higher risk of developing an irregular heartbeat than individuals that sleep through the night. Read more about this study here.