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Adults Who Get Less Sleep More Likely to Experience a Stroke

Adults who get less sleep more likely to experience a stroke

Insufficient sleep has been shown to put otherwise healthy adults at over four fold greater risk than their well sleeping counterparts for a stroke. “People know how important diet and exercise are in preventing strokes,” said Megan Ruiter of the University of Alabama in Birmingham, who led the study. However, the connection between sleep and suffering a stroke had not been drawn prior to this study. The conclusion was made after researchers observed 5,666 adults that were 45 or older, and their sleep habits for over three years. They also factored in other health related concerns to ensure sleep was the only variable. And to make the study more unique, the team only included folks their research, “who did not have a high risk for obstructive sleep apnea,” said Ruiter. She continued, “Obstructive sleep apnea is known to be associated with stroke events; therefore, in previous studies, the presence of obstructive sleep apnea may have actually explained the association between extremes in sleep duration and stroke.”

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Dr. Ruiter said in regards to the results, “Our thought is that habitually sleeping less than six hours is kind of like a precursor.”

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