Missing out on quality sleep may trigger an Afib episode. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, may cause significant scarring of the heart, Ellis says. This scarring may lead to a more severe form of Afib known as persistent atrial fibrillation. A study published in the journal Pulmonary Medicine found that obstructive sleep apnea was a major risk factor for atrial fibrillation as well as stroke, and the condition may increase the risk for Afib recurrence. Practice good sleep hygiene and get treatment for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.