Those who oversleep have a higher risk of having a stroke, according to a recent study. It means there is some truth in sleeping too much being bad for a person. Researchers hope that this new information will be able to help doctors predict those who are at higher risk of having a stroke later in life.
Between six and eight hours has been considered the optimum amount of sleep for an adult for a long time. Less than six hours on a regular basis means the body does not get the rest it needs and the immune system is affected. More than eight hours could mean a 46 percent increased risk of suffering a stroke compared to those who get between six and eight hours. Those who do not get enough sleep will also find they are four times more likely to suffer from a stroke.
This is not the first time a study has been used to see if there is a link between the medical condition and sleep. In fact, there have been many over the years, but they tend to be inconsistent. The results from this one are just added to that pile, but it is an interesting look.
The study was completed by University of Warwick and University of Cambridge researchers. They looked at 9,692 people’s data, all who live in Norfolk and had participated in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer. They enrolled within the 1990s, tracked for 9.5 years on average and were all between 40 and 79 years old at the time of enrollment. The volunteers were then asked to share the number of hours sleep they got on a night between 1998 and 2000 and then between 2002 and 2004. Other information was collected to help determine other risk factors, including whether there was a family history of suffering from strokes.
The researchers found that those who overslept had a higher risk of stroke than those who had the optimum amount of sleep. At the same time, those who struggled to get at least six hours of sleep a night were high risk for a stroke.
Among the volunteers, 346 people had suffered a stroke, and 67 of those were fatal. The number of strokes was not evenly distributed, and found in most of those who did not have the “average” amount of sleep.
The results were not taken at face value. The researchers looked into the details and found that there were some patterns within the volunteers. Women were considered more at risk of the link between sleep and stroke risk compared to men. They were also the ones that were more likely to suffer ones that were fatal.
Those who were over 63 years old were also more likely to suffer from a stroke when oversleeping, while those younger were more at risk when they did not get enough sleep. The amount of sleep also affected the type of stroke a patient received. Those who did not sleep enough had one that caused clots that block the blood flow—ischemic—and those who slept too much had one were the blood vessels rupture and bleed into the brain—hemorrhagic.
All results were combined with previous studies. In the end, researchers are certain that those who oversleep or those who do not get enough sleep are more at risk of suffering a stroke.
By Alexandria Ingham