Out of breath

Had my Stoke  3 yrs ago now age 88  why do I get so out of breath after doing one little job... Also is anyone having trouble sleeping at night all I get told well it is your age... I was so active before I just hate nights as they seem long... I get about two hours sleep a night don't nap during the day up all night running to the loo god I am falling to bits anyone out there like this

Hi, Dollymouse- I am 76 and 2 1/2 years out from my stroke.  I find that I get tired very easily.  I have to do things in 10 or 15 minute blocks, and then rest.  I have trouble sleeping at night, too.  The nights do seem long when I can't sleep.  I read and listen to the radio.  I also tried a noise machine, but I found that it and the radio stimulate my brain too much and I'm less apt to sleep. Reading helps though.  They say the eye movement back and forth makes the brain sleepy. What helps me is 3mg melatonin, and sometimes 20mg CBD oil under the tongue.  Then I add about 1/3 cup of dry Cheerios cereal.  I keep a supply in plastic ware by my bed.  I'm not necessarily hungry, but I found that putting something in my stomach seems to help me sleep..   They say that when you are digesting food more blood goes to your stomach than your brain--that's why people often feel sleepy after eating.  A glass of milk would be good, except when I have insomnia I don't want to have to get up, go to the kitchen, etc. etc.  That would just wake me up more.  So I nibble healthy cereal and read until I feel drowsy. Then I try to sleep again.  I am running to the loo all night too.  I keep a night light on in the bathroom so I don't have to turn on any bright lights.  I keep my eyes sort of half-closed so I don't wake up too much.  Usually, I can fall back asleep, but after the 3rd or 4th trip I'm usually awake and up for the day.  My husband sleeps like a stone until 7, so I put in earbuds and listen to Dr. Laura or read until he's up.  Have you talked to your cardiologist about feeling breathless?  There are probably meds out there that can help that if it's heart related. I understand how you feel.  I was always very active too.  I walk every day,  but it does tire me.  I know exercise is important.  However,  feeling exhausted after doing one little thing is typical for stroke survivors.  I think part of it is because the brain is working so hard to make your body do things while it is still in healing mode.   Drink lots of water during the day.  Move about or exercise as much as you can in 10 minute sessions.  You're still getting better.  It's  just slow.  Don't push. Listen to your body.  My mantra is:"Every day in every way I'm getting better and better." Hope you feel better. Love, Jeanne

Hello jeanie

Thank you for your help I do mostly what you say listen to music... Try and read... I even crochet think in bed my brain seems to come alive at night I am planning things to do.. Write them down come daytime no don't feel like it to tired of me but I do try and do what I have wrote down.... Had a heart test all ok seems I have to control my breathing when trying to do something remember to breathe in and out of my system still god go I make sense.. I know there are a lot out there that are night owls but I do get scared not sleeping enough

Sometimes I take a nytol just to get one night's sleep I hate pills seems they are handed out to much these days... 

I wish you well to and thank you again it is nice to find someone like me.. Trouble with me I don't think I have accepted this new life can't do what I use to although 88yrs I still feel in my 60s full of life.... Yes I do as much exercise I can indoors as I can't walk as much now osteoarthritis in the knee.... But I do try.... Take care love Dolly


Hello Dollymouse

I sympathise with your sleeping pattern, and I keep trying to improve mine. I don’t have the answer, but I do think there are small steps which can be tried to see if they can help. One of them which I try and use is working on the way I breathe. I can be a stubborn and sceptical person, after all I’ve been breathing for the last 62 years so why would I need to do something differently! I was given the medical/scientific explanations about breathing techniques or breathwork as it’s also called. How the body’s chemicals released for stress and anxiety can be calmed down by deep breathing, triggering the body to release the relaxing chemicals and switch off the high alert, anxiety system. There seem to be loads of different people on the internet offering ways to get the right technique, and this can complicate, confuse or mystify breathing! You can look at them and try them all and then like me think “am I doing this right?”! So I try and not get too complicated and do a deep in breath through my nose, so the air is making my tummy puff out, hold if for a count of 3 and then release through the mouth for a bit longer (5). Repeat the sequence again for a few times. I do this lying in bed and try to fall asleep by being more relaxed. Trying this whilst sitting down may help with your breathlessness as your ability to do deep breathing gets better with practice. Please don’t do it standing up as it may make you light headed! By having to think about the way you breathe and count and concentrate, then you’re focusing on that and not other unhelpful things. Best wishes, Pat

Thank you pat for your advice in fact I have been told I am not breathing right so will try what you say.. Another kind lady wrote to me with some advice to.. I am so glad I asked about my problem on here it certainly is helping me... Thankyou ladies bless you love Dolly

Hi, I’m 41 and had my stroke 7 weeks ago. I too struggle to sleep sincerely this (had no issues before) also noticed I seem to be catching my breathe quite often. Doctor has issued me Melatonin so hoping they help. Hope this starts to improve for you 

Hi Boom

Yes a friend mentioned these pills to me today trouble is I don't like taking to many pills at the moment I am trying the breathing method someone on here mentioned breathing threw your nose and out through your mouth... Seems I was breathing through my mouth all the time if this fails I will mention to my doctor these pills

I wish you well this stroke Forum has helped me a lot it is nice to talk to people who have had the same thing I also see they are on you tube now.... Take care love Dollymouse

Dear Dolly

I found that night time sleep was the essential key for a bit of recovery.

i tried dozens of things and the ones that made the difference include....sleep cooler. Have a light on. Go to bed at 10pm. Get a new mattress. But best of all was using a tinitis relaxer. This is a small electric device that plays sounds, i opt for waves crashing on a beach, and it has underlying white noise. It switches off after 30 minutes. They cost £30 odd and a few medical centres will give/lend one free.

i eventually worked out that i need 7.5 hrs. 

the post stroke fatigue is ghastly. I decided to ride with the fatigue and not fight it, but given the  bad time i have with SF  maybe i am not correct.  

Hi dolly mouse I have the opposite I sleep for 8 hours straight each night but on the very odd occasion I struggle I set my alexiato play song birds singing and listening to that helps me settle or I leave the TV on very quite just as a background noise it helps me good luck 

Pippy ...

Thanks Colin tried all you said even got a story book to tell me a nice story... I get about 3 hours sleep now... My brain comes alive at night I can't switch off... I was never like this until the stroke... I am doing a breathing exercise as I was always breathing through my mouth yes I am accepting this tiredness but it would be nice to just get a few more hours at night without a pill.. But up most of the night running to the loo.. They say drink plenty god i am up all night... It goes in the top comes out the bottom ? seen the doctor she gave me some pills I had bad side affects so they were stopped... Like you say I just accept it now.... I just wrote in to see if anyone else is like this since there stroke I have had some lovely replies... Goes to prove I am not imaging it all... Maybe a couple of whisky will do it... Just joking I don't drink or smoke... I'm a good girl haha Dolly

Hi Pippy

Wow 8 hours good for you wish it was me... I have wrote to Colin you can read my answer in there thankyou for your help.. Dolly

Welcome dolly mouse. ...pippy 

Dear Dolly

keep at the efforts to give you the chance to get good sleep. Three hours this week might be four hours next week.

whisky will keep you awake. Wine might send you off, but it will often reverse after three or so hours. Possibly sherry is best.

many of us have the problem that we can not switch our brains on. It no longer will work. Interesting that you are over active at night and cant switch off. No two strokes are the same.

smile smile smile and be positive