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Does Too Much Sleep Increase the Risk of Stroke?

January 3rd, 2020

By: Lenora Alabi

You may be aware of some of the things that can increase the chances of your aging relative suffering a stroke. For example, you might know that eating too much salt and having high blood pressure makes a stroke more likely. But now, new research indicates there’s another risk you should be aware of – sleep. Specifically, sleeping too much. If your aging relative spends a great deal of their time sleeping, knowing how it impacts their stroke risk may encourage them to spend more time awake and active.

Sleeping Longer and Napping Affect Stroke Risk

Stroke is far more common than anyone would like. It affects 795,000 people every year in the United States alone. Because of the prevalence of strokes, researchers are constantly working to learn new things about them, including what might increase the risk of a person suffering one. One of the things scientists have been examining is how sleep might be related to stroke risk.

In a recent study published in the journal Neurology, researchers in China found a link between the amount of time people spend sleeping and their likelihood of having a stroke. To look at the correlation, researchers gathered data on 31,750 people living in China. The study participants were an average age of 62. Each of them completed a questionnaire that asked about their sleep habits. They were all followed for six years after completing the questionnaire.

The data showed that 8 percent of the participants took naps of an hour and a half or more. 24 percent of them slept 9 or more hours per night. 

During the course of the study, there were 1,557 strokes among the participants. Using this information and the data collected, the scientists determined that people who slept more were at a 23 percent higher risk for stroke.

Other Things That Increase the Risk of Stroke

While time spent sleeping hasn’t officially been added to the long list of risk factors for stroke, it may still be worth watching in your older family member. For one thing, the more time they spend sleeping, the less time they are likely to be physically active, and a lack of physical activity is just one of the risk factors. Some other risk factors are:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Diabetes.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Obesity.
  • Smoking.
  • Heart disease.
  • Poor diet.

Home care can help to reduce risk factors for stroke in your aging relative. A home care provider can encourage them to be awake more of the day by coming in the morning and helping them to get up. Home care providers can also keep them busy doing activities around the house or going on outings. In addition, a home care provider can prepare balanced meals that help with weight management and support good health.

Sources
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327280.php#1
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/stroke
https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/stroke-risk-factors/stroke-risk-factors-you-can-control-treat-and-improve
 

IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING HOMECARE IN OLD TOWN, IL FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.