What Really Causes Insomnia, Why It Leads To Heart Attack And Stroke And How to Avoid It

Apr 1 2017 - 2:11pm

Think there's no connection between insomnia and your lifestyle habits? Recent research sheds some light on how and why insomnia really occurs and how its linked to heart attacks and stroke.

Insomnia Heart Attack Stroke

The million dollar question has always been “What causes Insomnia?” In the search for answers, a recent study published in the European Journal Of Preventative Cardiology analyzed fifteen studies and made an association between insomnia and the incidence of death from cardiovascular disease.

While it didn’t show a causative relationship to insomnia and heart disease and stroke, the study found a consistent link between insomnia and a person having a heart attack or stroke.

The researchers analyzed fifteen studies of 160,867 people. They were followed for an average of three to 29.6 years, examining the relationship between insomnia and incidence of or death from cardiovascular disease. The study noted significant and consistent associations between difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, non-restorative sleep and an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

So, What Causes Insomnia?

Generally, the causes of insomnia have always been related to stress, having a lot on one’s mind, upset, and worry etc. While these may be legitimate causes of insomnia there is a physiological element to insomnia that is often overlooked according to a recent study that has made the connection between insomnia and digestive disturbances. When there is unrest in the body’s processes, insomnia is a very real result.

The Main Cause Of Insomnia Is Indigestion

The main cause for failing asleep and being awakened in the middle of the night is indigestion. Not the type of indigestion that you consciously feel – the kind of indigestion that is occurring during digestion. To illustrate, if you’re the type that’s active during the day and you throw back breakfast, lunch and dinner and you’ve been on the move, your body hasn’t had the chance to digest the day’s meals. This is because digestion only occurs when you rest. So, if you’re active digestion stops and you carry food around all day in your stomach. Some people feel this, other do not, but after that last meal of the day, when you finally lay down and go to bed, your body, in its attempt to do its eliminative and healing work, is going to instead begin the process of digestion. This silent indigestion caused by food moving through the digestive tract can wake you up.

Here’s What Doesn’t Happen When Your Body Is Digesting at Night And How It Negatively Affects Health

The intricate and very complex process of digestion takes up a majority of the body’s energy. That being said, if you overeat, stuff yourself, and improperly combine your foods when eat your meals during the day, there’s a good chance the process of digestion will occur (or complete) during the night when you sleep. This robs your body of healing time.


To explain lets day you had a day of light meals and lots of rest in between those meals, and your body did its digestive work during the day. When you head off sleep, not only will your sleep be more peaceful, your body is better able to do its eliminative, healing and restorative work because it isn’t using all its energy on the process of digestion. This simple bad habit of eating on the go and unrest between meals lays the groundwork for disease as we’ve seen in the study over time.

Emotions Do Play A Big Role In Indigestion

It’s important to realize the role of your emotions on the digestive process. Your emotions affect whether or not you digest. So if you’ve got a stressful job, eat light, and have time to sit around after meals, your emotional unrest will still cause digestion to stop.

Similarly, if you’re consistently aggravated, or get bad news during the day that causes upset, all of your body’s energy and blood flow will redirect from digesting and move to the brain, leaving the process of digestion to occur during the night, causing insomnia and interrupting sleep.

Cardiovascular Disease And Stroke Are Years In The Making

In laying the groundwork for disease, it should be noted that cardiovascular disease and strokes or any disease for that matter, do not just occur spontaneously – they are years in the making. Therefore, diseases such as heart disease and stroke as mentioned, can a do occur over time and stem from poor lifestyle and dietary habits according to a http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2608221 study published in JAMA, on the Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the United States.

How To Ensure Better Sleep

The best selling diet, nutrition and weight loss book EAT! – Empower. Adjust. Triump!: Lose Ridiculous Weight, poignantly addresses the importance of eating as it relates to digestion and insomnia in this excerpt:


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