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Sleep problems are linked to a fivefold increase in stroke risk, research says -Health

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Snoring, snoring, snoring and tossing and turning, sleeping too long during the day, waking up at night and sleeping too little or too much all contribute to poor quality sleep and may increase the risk of stroke, according to a new study.

In fact, researchers have found that the more sleep problems you have, the higher your risk of stroke.

“Having more than five of these symptoms may increase the risk of stroke by five times compared to those without sleep problems,” said study author Christine McCarthy. Ireland’s University of Galway in a statement.

“The findings are consistent with previous research linking unhealthy sleep to high blood pressure and narrowing of blood vessels, which are risk factors for stroke,” said sleep expert Kristen Knutson, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Neurology and Preventive Medicine. Medicine in Chicago. He was not involved in the study.

One reason may be the effects of short, fragmented sleep and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea on the body’s ability to regulate metabolism, blood pressure and inflammation, which are risk factors for stroke, said Dr. Phyllis Gee, director of the center. of Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern Medical School, who was not involved in the study.

“Poor sleep can disrupt the normal blood pressure reduction that occurs during nighttime sleep and contribute to high blood pressure — an important risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease,” Gee said via email. “Other population-based studies have reported similar associations between poor sleep health and disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia.”

study, Published on Wednesday In the journal Neurology, analyzed data from more than 4,500 people who participated in INTERSTROKE, a large international case-control study of patients who have had a stroke.

About 1,800 participants in the study had an ischemic stroke, the most common type, in which a blood clot blocks an artery that leads to the brain. A further 439 had intracerebral haemorrhages which caused a brain artery or vein to burst, causing bleeding into brain tissue.

Study participants were matched by age and gender with people who had no history of stroke. Both groups answered questions about their sleep quality and behavior and the two groups were compared.

The results showed that those who slept less than five hours a day on average were three times more likely to have a stroke than those who slept seven hours. Recommended minimum For adults.

On the other hand, sleeping more than nine hours on average was associated with a two-fold increase in the risk of stroke, according to a statement from the study.

According to the study, the findings held true even after adjusting for other issues that may cause stroke, including depression, alcohol abuse, smoking and lack of physical activity.

Sleep apnea — a condition in which people stop breathing multiple times per hour — was associated with a threefold increase in the risk of stroke, the statement said.

“Sleep apnea may alter pathways involved in the regulation of clotting factors that may increase the risk of stroke,” Gee said.

Snoring or snoring, both of which can be symptoms of untreated sleep apnea, were also risky. Those who snore were 91% more likely to have a stroke, and those who snore were almost three times more likely to have a stroke than those who did not.

Sleeping was also a risk factor, the statement said. Those who slept more than an hour on average were 88% more likely to have a stroke than those who did not. However, taking less than an hour of planned sleep may not increase the risk of stroke, the study found.

It’s important to note that the study can only show an association between sleep problems and stroke, not causation, said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver.

“The question remains: What causes poor quality sleep? Or is it simply linked to a cluster of poor health habits that put someone at higher risk of stroke?” asked Freeman, who was not involved in the study.

“Are they under too much pressure? Do they drink a lot of caffeine and then not sleep? “Maybe they’re not getting much exercise, and we know that exercise promotes good quality sleep,” Freeman said. “It’s hard to tease out all the factors that might contribute.”

Practicing good sleep hygiene, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly are all key ways to minimize the negative effects. Sleep disorders and reduce stroke and cardiovascular risk, Freeman said.

“What I always tell people is, you know, getting about seven hours of uninterrupted sleep a night is associated with the least amount of heart disease,” he said.

It’s important to prioritize getting those seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night on a regular basis, Gee says. Doing this means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

“Regular exposure to light in the morning and afternoon can improve sleep quality,” she says, adding that anyone with snoring, insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness should talk to a sleep specialist.

The bedroom should be used only for sleep and intimacy, Freeman added.

“Don’t hang out there and watch TV or read books or work there,” he said. “Keep a notebook next to the bed so that if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can write down whatever comes to mind. Dispel any worries you have by meditating and do your best to let things go.”

Don’t drink or eat alcohol at least three hours before bed to avoid gastric problems that might wake you up, Gee advises.

“Exercise is also important, especially in the morning,” Freeman adds. “A true medicine that always works is improving one’s lifestyle to include healthy behaviors.”



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