PoTS patients often have poor quality of sleep. This compounds fatigue and therefore impacts upon quality of life.
Potential causes of sleep disturbance need to be identified such as underlying anxiety and depression. There may also be other physical causes such as a low iron levels which may cause restless leg syndrome.
Management is a challenge. Some things that may help:
- Optimum room environment - Ensure your bed is comfortable, the bedroom should not too hot, cold, light or noisy. *Ear plugs and blackout blinds may help with noise and light. *A fan and other cooling cool aids can be purchased for hot summer months. *Blankets which can easily be added or removed during the cold winter months. *Wool socks may help cold feet.
- Avoid stimulants such as tea, coffee, alcohol in the evening. Don’t smoke.
- If you are unable to go to sleep, get up after 15-20 minutes, go to another room for a while and try again when sleepy.
- Avoid heavy meals before bed.
- Medication - *SSRI antidepressants have improved sleep quality in some people. Over the counter sleep medicine should be avoided as they usually contain an antihistamine which may worsen symptoms of PoTS such as tachycardia and fatigue. The use and effectiveness of other sleep medication is debatable and needs to be discussed with your GP.
Stickman Cartoons from "You know you have PoTS when..." by Hannah Ensor, used under licence from stickmancommunications.co.uk
*Currently no available medical evidence. Based on patient experience and opinion.
Written by: Lorna Busmer
Medically approved by: Dr Kavi, Prof Newton
Review date: 1/7/15