JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2023 Oct 12:S2405-500X(23)00729-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2023.09.009. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Chronic sleep disruption is associated with incident atrial fibrillation (AF), but it is unclear whether poor sleep quality acutely triggers AF.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to characterize the relationship between a given night’s sleep quality and the risk of a discrete AF episode.
METHODS: Patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AF in the I-STOP-AFIB (Individualized Studies of Triggers of Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation) trial reported sleep quality on a daily basis. Participants were also queried daily regarding AF episodes and were provided smartphone-based mobile electrocardiograms (ECGs) (KardiaMobile; AliveCor).
RESULTS: Using 15,755 days of data from 419 patients, worse sleep quality on any given night was associated with a 15% greater odds of a self-reported AF episode the next day (OR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.10-1.20; P < 0.0001) after adjustment for the day of the week. No statistically significant associations between worsening sleep quality and mobile ECG-confirmed AF events were observed (OR: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.95-1.13; P = 0.43), although substantially fewer of these mobile ECG-confirmed events may have limited statistical power. Poor sleep was also associated with longer self-reported AF episodes, with each progressive category of worsening sleep associated with 16 (95% CI: 12-21; P < 0.001) more minutes of AF the next day.
CONCLUSIONS: Poor sleep was associated with an immediately heightened risk for self-reported AF episodes, and a dose-response relationship existed such that progressively worse sleep was associated with longer episodes of AF the next day. These data suggest that sleep quality may be a potentially modifiable trigger relevant to the near-term risk of a discrete AF episode.