After CABG Why is it Difficult to Sleep?

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) is a surgical procedure used to improve blood flow to the heart by creating a new pathway for blood to flow around a blockage in one or more of the coronary arteries.

The recovery period after CABG can be challenging, and many patients find it difficult to sleep during this time.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why it is difficult to sleep after CABG and what can be done to alleviate these symptoms.

What is CABG?

CABG is a surgical procedure that involves taking a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body, such as the leg, and using it to create a detour around a blocked artery in the heart.

This new blood vessel is then attached to the coronary artery on either side of the blocked area, allowing blood to flow freely around the blockage.

What are the Symptoms of Sleep Difficulties after CABG?

Patients who have undergone CABG often report difficulty sleeping during their recovery period.

Some of the symptoms associated with sleep difficulties after CABG include:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea

Why is it Difficult to Sleep after CABG?

There are several reasons why it is difficult to sleep after CABG. Some of the most common reasons include:


Pain is one of the most common reasons why patients have difficulty sleeping after CABG. The incisions made during the surgery can cause significant pain, and patients may experience discomfort for several weeks after the procedure.

Anxiety and Depression

Patients who have undergone CABG may experience anxiety and depression during their recovery period, which can make it difficult to sleep. Anxiety and depression can cause a range of physical symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep and waking up during the night.


Patients who have undergone CABG are often prescribed pain medications and other drugs to manage their symptoms during the recovery period. These medications can cause drowsiness during the day and make it difficult to sleep at night.

Physical Limitations

Patients who have undergone CABG may experience physical limitations during their recovery period, such as restricted movement and difficulty breathing. These physical limitations can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. This condition can be caused by a range of factors, including obesity and a history of smoking. Patients who have undergone CABG may be at increased risk of sleep apnea due to the physical stress placed on the body during the surgery.

What Can Be Done to Alleviate Sleep Difficulties After CABG?

Fortunately, there are several things that patients can do to alleviate sleep difficulties after CABG. Some of the most effective strategies include:

Pain Management

Effective pain management is essential for improving sleep after CABG. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider about the best ways to manage their pain during the recovery period.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can be effective for reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation, which can help patients sleep more soundly.

Sleep Environment

Creating a comfortable sleep environment can also be helpful for patients who are having difficulty sleeping after CABG. Patients should make sure their bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, and they should avoid using electronic devices before bedtime.

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