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Lifestyle Changes for Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Cardiac electrophysiologists at NYU Langone’s Heart Rhythm Center may recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent the symptoms of supraventricular arrhythmias.

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Managing Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is associated with a high risk of certain types of supraventricular arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. This condition is caused by airway blockages that repeatedly interrupt breathing during sleep.

If sleep apnea is suspected, you are referred to an otolaryngologist or pulmonologist, who may recommend sleep testing through our Sleep Disorders Program. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent sleep apnea, including reducing or eliminating sedative use, sleeping on your side instead of your back, and using a device that prevents airway interruptions while you sleep.

Making Healthy Choices

A healthy diet plays a major role in preventing heart disease. Our physicians collaborate with experts at NYU Langone’s Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease to help patients identify dietary triggers for arrhythmias. They can also help you learn how to make healthy food choices, including drinking enough water. Dehydration can trigger arrhythmia.

Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use can trigger the symptoms of an arrhythmia. Caffeine has been shown to speed up heart rate, and alcohol can lead to sleep apnea and raise your blood pressure. Smoking can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, which can also lead to arrhythmia.

Your doctor may suggest reducing or eliminating your caffeine and alcohol intake. Specialists in NYU Langone’s Tobacco Cessation Programs can help you stop smoking.

Consulting Your Doctor Before Exercising

Exercise can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure, which can reduce your risk of supraventricular arrhythmia. Talk with your doctor to learn what kind of physical activity is right for you.

Reducing Stress

Too much stress can raise your blood pressure and trigger tachycardia, or a fast heart rate. Doctors at NYU Langone recommend getting enough sleep, exercising as permitted, and implementing relaxation techniques. Our integrative health services include breathing exercises, yoga, and acupuncture to help reduce stress levels.

Safely Using Over-the-Counter Medications

Some over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, medications used to manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and herbal treatments contain stimulants that may trigger a fast heart rate. Your doctor can tell you which medications are right for you and how to use them safely.

Our Research and Education in Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.