Could Oversleeping Be a Warning Sign of Impending Stroke?

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Sleeping for more than eight hours per night may be linked to an increased risk of stroke, according to a study published in Neurology.

The results of the study suggest that oversleeping was associated with a 46% increased risk of stroke, but the researchers are unsure if oversleeping is a cause or effect of stroke.

The study included 9,692 people with an average age of 62 years who had never previously had a stroke. Each participant completed two questionnaires four years apart that asked them questions about how many hours they slept per night. During the average follow-up period of 9.5 years, 346 participants had a stroke.

After analyzing the results, the researchers found that those who slept more than eight hours a night had a 46% increased risk of having a stroke compared with those who slept six to eight hours, which is considered an average amount of sleep.

Additionally, participants who increased their amount of sleep from six to eight hours to more than eight hours were four times more likely to have a stroke than those who slept six to eight hours.

Because people whose sleep habits changed were so much more likely to have a stroke, the researchers believe that oversleeping could be an early warning sign for stroke rather than a cause.

Sleeping prone
Could Oversleeping Be a Warning Sign of Impending Stroke?

The negative implications of sleep deprivation are well documented; it can cause problems with memory and concentration and has been associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But a new study suggests getting too much sleep may also be bad for us: it could significantly increase the risk of stroke.

The research team, including Yue Leng of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., publishes its findings in the journal Neurology.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18-64 should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

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