The small wearable device to monitor your heart rhythm is called a Holter monitor. 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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, there may be a time when you are required to sleep with a Holter monitor. For some people, it might feel a little bit weird to sleep with a heart monitor.
In advance, you should know what kind of a device the Holter monitor is and what it might 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.
- 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.
So how can you sleep with a Holter monitor?
You can try to relax wearing a heart monitor by the following steps:
- Document your worries
- Read something relaxing
- Listen to relaxing music.
Create a comfortable sleep environment to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
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.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don’t remove your Holter monitor. 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, you can get a good night’s sleep with it. The goal is to sleep as comfortably as possible. Don’t let it bother you. Ignore the device, patches, and electrodes.
What are the best sleeping positions with a Holter monitor?
Sleep on Your Stomach
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.
Sleep on Your Back
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.