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Sleeping less than 6 hours increases stroke risk

A new study found that sleeping less than 6 hours a night increases the chances of a stroke (CVA), even among adults who do not have common risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as obesity or a family history of stroke.

The research, presented this week at the annual meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies (SLEEP 2012) in Boston and conducted by the University of Alabama, followed 5666 workers above age 45 for a period of three years. At the beginning of the study, none of these individuals had suffered a cardiovascular event or stroke or had symptoms of sleep apnea.They found that non-obese individuals with a BMI (body mass index) between 18.5-24.9 (normal), who slept less than 6 hours sleep per night, had a risk of stroke 4 times greater compared to the participants in the same BMI range, but who slept between 7 and 8 hours per night. Lack of sleep is common among working people. It is estimated that 30% of adults sleep less than six hours nightly.

Dr. Megan Ruiter, an author of the study, said it is possible that lack of sleep may lead to traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and once a person possesses these other risk factors, they become more significant than the sleep restriction alone. Dr. Ruiter hopes that these results encourage other research on the subject to discover the mechanisms of risk associated with sleep deprivation. She also believes further research might lead to new therapies to prevent stroke.

Sleep-related behaviors can be modified by cognitive and behavioral therapy, changing your sleeping environment, or occasionally, if truly necessary, with medications. We will cover this topic in greater detail in a future post.  If you are having trouble sleeping and need the guidance from a doctor, you can use our site: www.procuramed.com, and find your doctor. It’s fast, easy and no cost!

See also on ProcuraMed:

 * Social jet lag disrupts sleep and leads to obesity

 * Waiting after dinner before going to bed reduces stroke risk

 

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)