Bad Sleep Habits can Increase Chance of Stroke

June 13, 2012

If you rarely get a good night’s sleep, then you’re probably aware of the side-effects: grogginess all day, difficulty concentrating, and a tendency to be moody. Now, there’s concern over a new, potential danger in keeping poor sleep habits.

The Sleep 2012 conference , held last week in Boston, revealed that individuals who get less than 6 hours of sleep, are 4 times more likely to have an increased risk of stroke, compared to those who get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.  Click on the video above to watch a report from NBC News.

The Results are In

The study, which lasted three years, examined 5,666 adults who were aged 45 and older. They reported their sleep habits and duration and symptoms of strokes every 6 months. The investigators recorded daily health habits, risk factors for stroke, any symptoms of depression, demographic information, health related behaviors, and onset of first stroke like symptoms throughout the study period.

In the study, the elevated risk applied to those who were middle aged and older, but who also were not obese, (had a normal BMI) or had a history of more traditional risk factors for stroke.

These new statistics might be a good reason to start catching a few more zzz’s.

The Numbers are Rising

According to Forbes’ website, the National Sleep Foundation released data showing that only 28 % of adults sleep 8 hours or more per night, down from 38% in 2001.

Also, a recent CDC study published in May, 2012 showed that approximately 30% of US workers get six hours of sleep or less.

Getting plenty of sleep now joins the list of ways to decrease your chances of stroke, which also includes exercising frequently, avoiding excessive alcohol intake, not smoking and everyone’s favorite– eating a low calorie, well balanced diet.

Of course, theses are all important requirements for living a healthy life, and many times we would sleep more if we weren’t so busy. This new research just might be the deciding factor for you to begin a more healthy lifestyle.