Sound Sleep And Stroke Prevention

Good habits, including a sound night’s sleep, help to keep our bones healthy. New research suggests that getting the right among of sleep may also lower our risk of stroke.

Cultivating good habits is the best way to prevent health issues from arising. Health and wellness programs emphasize getting enough sleep and exercise, choosing a wholesome diet, and embracing a lifestyle that includes moderate use of alcohol and avoidance of smoking. All of these habits promote healthy bones.

The link between sleep and healthy bones is fairly recent; but other advantages of good sleep habits are well known. Getting six to eight hours of sleep a night is linked to better memory and concentration as well as lowering risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. A new research study published this year suggests that our sleeping habits may also affect our risk of stroke.

The study, published in the Neurology journal, followed the sleep habits of 9,700 people, between the ages of 42 and 81, over four years. None of the participants had ever had a stroke. Once participant sleep habits were established, researchers recorded the number of stroke cases in this group over 9 years.

The findings were surprising. Participants who slept between 6 and 8 hours a night were at lower stroke risk than people who slept more than 8 hours every night. In fact, men and women with more than 8 hours of sleep every night were 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than people averaging 6 to 8 sleeping hours each night.

More research is needed to understand the dynamics between extended periods of sleep and increased stroke risk. In the meantime, this research provides one more incentive to make sure we get between six and eight hours of undisturbed sleep every night.

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