Lack of Adequate Sleep Could Lead To Stroke, Study Shows

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A recently published study in Neurology suggests that individuals experiencing insomnia symptoms, including difficulty falling asleep, maintaining sleep, and waking up too early, may have a higher likelihood of experiencing a stroke.

People below 59 who are not getting enough sleep and are at risk of stroke

The study, which involved 31,126 subjects whose average age was 60 without a history of stroke, also revealed that the risk is particularly elevated among individuals under 50. It is important to note that the study only establishes an association between insomnia symptoms and stroke rather than a causal relationship.

Identifying sleep problems that contribute to an elevated risk of stroke could enable earlier interventions or behavioral therapies to improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of stroke later in life. Dr. Wendemi Sawadogo, a member of the American Academy of Neurology from Virginia Commonwealth University, emphasized the availability of various therapies to enhance sleep quality.

During the sleep patterns and symptoms survey, participants were asked about difficulties falling asleep, waking up at night, waking up too early, and feeling rested in the morning.

After factoring in factors like smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity, the team found that individuals with 1-4 symptoms had a 16% increased risk of stroke relative to those without any symptoms. Among the 19,149 individuals with 1-4 symptoms, 1,300 experienced a stroke. Additionally, those with five to eight insomnia symptoms faced a 51% higher risk. Of the 5,695 individuals with five to eight symptoms, 436 had a stroke.

Insomnia symptoms linked to stroke

The study found a connection between insomnia symptoms and stroke, especially for individuals below 50 years, with the risk being almost four times higher in individuals with symptoms than in those with any. On the other hand, individuals above 50 years having the same symptoms had only a 38% heightened risk of experiencing a stroke.

Sawadogo explained that the higher occurrence of stroke in older individuals, along with other risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, may contribute to the difference in risk between the age groups.

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