If you have to wear a device to monitor your heart rhythm called a Holter monitor, you’ll have to find a way to sleep wearing it. Doctors often want patients to wear a heart monitor for one to two days, which means sleeping with the device on. The device is designed to monitor your heart and record all of your heartbeats. Initially, people can be concerned about sleeping with a heart monitor. At first, wearing a heart monitor with all its wires and electrodes can feel awkward. One common question people ask while wearing a Holter monitor is: How to sleep with it?
A Holter monitor test is normally performed after an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Doctors want you to wear a heart monitor to find out if you have a heart rhythm problem.
Does a Holter monitor disrupt sleep?
Unfortunately, many factors can disrupt your sleep. Because humans are creatures of habit, anything out of the ordinary can keep you awake. Having to sleep wearing a Holter monitor could lead to a lighter than normal sleep.
The adhesive on your skin used for the stickers connecting to the electrodes of your heart monitor may cause irritation. For patients with sensitive skin, it might be even more irritating which could put a damper on your snooze.
Also, if you are worried about your heart, the resulting psychological stress also takes its toll on your sleep, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can you sleep with a heart monitor?
Having to wear a heart monitor, even for a couple of days, isn’t fun. Fortunately, a Holter monitor is a small wireless device, which makes sleeping with it a fairly pleasant experience. The heart monitor is noninvasive and painless. Yes, some people have a hard time sleeping while wearing one. Being unable to sleep can be stressful and have consequences for the following day.
Unfortunately, there may be a time when you are required to sleep with a Holter monitor. For some people, it could feel a little bit uncomfortable to sleep with a heart monitor.
In advance, you should know what sort of a medical device the Holter monitor is and what it possibly will feel like sleeping with it on.
- Even if you are required to wear a heart monitor for a few days, it isn’t overly uncomfortable to wear.
- Wearing the device isn’t painful.
- The Holter monitor is a small battery-operated device that easily fits into your pocket.
- The monitor is about the same size as a smartphone.
- It is connected to your chest via patches, wires, and electrodes. The data from the heart monitor will help your doctor decide how to treat you.
So how can you sleep with a Holter monitor?
It is normal for your doctor to ask you to sleep wearing a Holter monitor. It helps if you are as relaxed as possible. Stress, anxiety, and worry can result in insomnia. Finding ways to relax should help you sleep with a Holter monitor. It can be helpful before bed to help reduce anxiety before you go to sleep by helping you “calm down” from the stresses of the day. When you are having difficulty falling asleep, one solution is to take a doctor-prescribed sleeping pill to finally get some slumber. But, taking sleeping pills may not be the best long-term term solution.
Luckily there are various natural methods that may help you fall asleep wearing a Holter. Not all methods are equally effective for all, so it’s best to take time to experiment to find what works best for you.
You can try to relax wearing a heart monitor by the following steps:
Have positive thoughts – Make an effort to focus on the positive. Even if you are worried about a heart condition or other health issues, it is critical to stay positive. When you are lying in bed getting ready for sleep, it helps to turn to positive thoughts.
Write away your worries – Writing down your worries is a great way to free your mind. It can be a ritual to empty your brain of your worries. Take 10 minutes before bedtime to write down your worries. This can be helpful because it interrupts your worry cycle, and in the end, it might help you sleep better.
Read a relaxing book – Reading reduces stress, and it might help you fall asleep easier too. Use this pleasurable escape to relax your mind. When you read something relaxing, you are not obsessing about having to wear a heart monitor.
Listen to relaxing music – Listening to relaxing music before bed can improve sleep quality. Music can improve sleep efficiency. As a result, you might be able to sleep longer. Music is a way to tune your body for sleep.
Stay on schedule – You will fall asleep more easily with a Holter monitor if you stick to your regular sleep schedule. Going to sleep and getting up at the usual time is critical for good sleep.
Create an optimal environment – Your sleeping environment affects the quality of your sleep. A comfortable sleep environment will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Your bedroom should be dark. The temperature in your sleeping area should be comfortable, not too warm, and not too cold either.
Keep it cool – You will sleep better if you keep your bedroom cool.
Remove sleep-stealers – To help you sleep, it is best to remove distractions such as noises and bright lights. Watching TV in bed, working on your laptop. or using your phone before sleep is a bad idea.
Meditate – It can help you reduce stress, which can disrupt sleep. Build a meditation routine into your bedtime schedule to help calm your anxious mind. When you meditate you distract your mind from busy thoughts allow yourself to drift off to sleep.
How to sleep with a heart monitor on?
The good news is that heart monitoring is a painless and non-invasive procedure. Patients can hide the wires and electrodes under your clothes. You can also wear the device attached to a strap or on a belt. The added bulk and wires can make it challenging to get comfortable at night. Wearing a medical device, even if only for a couple of days, can feel uncomfortable. Patients may have the added worry that they disconnect the heart monitor in their sleep.
It is critical to make rest a priority for your well being. The more rested and relaxed your body is, the easier it is to fall asleep.
Don’t remove your Holter monitor. Always wear your Holter unless your doctor tells you otherwise. It is critical to wear your heart monitor all the time, even while you sleep. The Holter monitor is engineered to allow you to perform your normal activities.
Your physician will advise you how long you are required to wear the heart monitor. The duration may vary, but one to two days is normal, depending on your condition.
How to get a good night’s sleep with a heart monitor?
Even if it feels unusual to wear a Holter monitor, it is pretty simple to live with. You don’t have to change the way you sleep with it. The goal is to sleep as comfortably as possible. Don’t let it bother you. Ignore the device, patches, and electrodes. Make sure you get sufficient quiet relaxation time as you prepare for sleep. Your mind needs time to wind down into a less active state before sleeping.
What are the best sleeping positions with a Holter monitor?
Reasons to sleep on your stomach with a Holter monitor.
The position seriously affects the overall quality of your sleep. If you aren’t comfortable sleeping on your back, you might try sleeping on your stomach. The very first concern you might have is the patches, electrodes, and wires pressing against your chest. But if you are used to sleeping on your stomach, you might fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer in this position.
People who usually sleep on their stomach should try to sleep in the same position even with a heart monitor. It is possible, even with all the Holter monitor parts. It is worth a try.
The Holter monitor is a relatively small device. You can set the device next to you on the bed to keep most of the wires out of the way. If you are worried about the patches and wires coming loose during the night, you shouldn’t worry. The patches and electrodes are tightly connected, so you can expect them to stay attached even if you sleep on your stomach.
Reasons to sleep on your side with a Holter monitor.
Side sleeping is the most common sleep position. It might help to sleep on your left side to alleviate heartburn, acid reflux, and improve your circulation. This is a great sleep position if you snore. Sleeping on the side is the default position for someone who prefers to sleep with a body pillow. But you could use a regular pillow to help you sleep on your side.
Reasons to sleep on your back with a Holter monitor.
If you are required to sleep with a heart monitor, sleeping on your back might be the best option. When you sleep on your back, you don’t have to worry about the electrodes on your chest. You can clip the Holter monitor to the waistband of your pajama or keep in on your side.
Sleeping on your back with a heart monitor may be the least disturbing option. The patches and wires may be the least annoying in this sleeping position. If you are normally not a back sleeper, switching sleep positions might be a challenge.
The following tips may help you sleep on your back:
- Use multiple pillows to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
- You can experiment with placing a pillow under your legs. The pillow under your leg might help you stay on your back while you sleep.
Sleeping on your back, you might not even notice the Holter monitor. Try to relax to help you fall asleep fast.
How to sleep without disturbing the Holter monitor and its parts?
Relax about having to sleep with the heart monitor. When you feel anxious, your body may be stiff, and sleep might evade you. Try to relax your muscles to help you relax. Breathing exercises can also help you relax with your Holter monitor.
Talk about your worries with your healthcare provider. Write down your worries and concerns about sleeping with a Holter monitor and share them with your doctor.
Listen to a relaxing audiobook or relaxing music to help you fall asleep faster. Listening to music can take your mind from worrying about the Holter monitor. Make sure you put your smartphone on airplane mode so your sleep is not disturbed by text messages and phone calls.
Can you turn off the heart monitor while sleeping?
Check with your doctor if it’s OK to turn off your heart monitor while you sleep. The vibration from the heart monitor bothers people. It is recommended to put the monitor on a cushioned surface to prevent the vibration from waking you in the middle of the night.
What should I avoid when sleeping with a heart monitor?
A Holter monitor is a sensitive device. To protect it, you should avoid the following while sleeping:
- Set the Holter monitor next to you in bed. The goal is to avoid sleeping on the monitor.
- Keep your smartphone and tablet computer from at least six inches from your chest area.
- Don’t sleep with an electric blanket.
- Keep away from magnets.
What if your Holter monitor falls off while sleeping?
Once you realize that your Holter monitor fell off, check to see if it is still working. If the heart monitor is working and the patches and electrodes are in place, you shouldn’t worry. But, you can always check with your doctor or read the manufacturer’s instructions if you are unsure.
If the heart monitor seems to be off or not working anymore, contact your healthcare provider to determine what to do.
What to do if an electrode (or sticker) falls off while you sleep?
You can clean the skin where the sicker was placed and replace it with one of your extra stickers. The Holter monitor was most likely shipped with a few extra patches. If you wear a snug fit clothing for sleep, it might help the stickers stay on your skin during the night.
Sleeping with a heart monitor can be an uncomfortable experience. Even though the device can help your doctor diagnose you, wearing it and sleeping with it can be hard. You are worried about the wires and patches coming off while you sleep. Still, it is possible to get a good night’s sleep with a Holter monitor. Talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns about sleeping with a heart monitor.
What is the difference between a Holter monitor or an event monitor?
Holter monitors and event monitors are similar medical devices. They are frequently ordered for some of the same reasons. Both are portable devices used to diagnose the heart. Unlike an even monitor, a Holter monitor records continuously. Patients wear Holter monitors for about one to two days. Instead of recording continuously, an event monitor only records when you activate it. Some event monitors could be triggered to start recording by an abnormal heart rhythm. A Holter monitor is a bit larger than an event monitor.
Why do you have to sleep with a Holter monitor or heart monitor?
If an electrocardiogram doesn’t detect any irregular heartbeats, your doctor may order you wear a Holter monitor. At times, doctors require patients to wear the heart monitor for a couple of days. That is the reason people sleep with a Holter monitor at times.
What is a Holter monitor or heart monitor?
A heart monitor or a Holter monitor is a wearable device. People wear the device to keep track of their heart rhythm. Doctors may prescribe a Holter monitor to wear for a day or two, and sometimes even longer. While you wear the heart monitor, even when you sleep, it records your heartbeats. Doctors use the recorded data from the Holter monitor.
Doctors use Holter or event monitoring as a tracing technique. A Holter monitor is used for patients with heart conditions that cannot be accurately diagnosed with an EKG. The Holter monitor can record the electrical activity of your heart. It can be used to diagnose arrhythmias.
Because an EKG is a short diagnosis, it may be unable to detect any heart abnormalities. The Holter monitor, on the other hand, is worn much longer, 24 or 48-hours or even longer. The longer time span can help your doctor detect arrhythmias.
Who invented the Holter monitor?
The Holter Research Laboratory in Helena Montana invented the Holter monitor. It is an electrocardiography device used for cardiac monitoring. People often have to wear them for an extended period of time, they even have to sleep wearing the Holter. The Holter heart monitor was developed by experimental physicists Bill Glasscock and Norman J. Holter. In 1962, the Holter monitor was released for commercial production.