Sleep Deprivation Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke

By Lisa Franchi on August 02, 2018

Many people, particularly teens and adults don’t usually get their 8-hour sleep at night. But habitual lack of sleep can be dangerous and may even increase the risk of stroke, found a new study.

Researchers from the University of Alabama found a link between sleep deprivation and stroke by following over 5,000 people for three years. In such span of time, they looked for any symptoms of stroke together with its risk factors. None of the participants showed any previous history of stroke or obstructive sleep apnoea.

Despite having few risk factors to stroke, people with normal weight who slept less than 6 hours per night were found to have increased risk of stroke symptoms. Such connection was absent among overweight individuals. The researchers also suggest that sleep deprivation may be a precursor to other stroke factors such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Lack of Sleep Can be Fatal

The researchers observed that airways in the heart become completely or partially blocked during sleep, and this condition has been linked to stroke. Said study is still in its preliminary stage and hasn’t been published yet in a peer-review journal. However, several studies in the past have found that sleep deprivation can cause various health problems including obesity, depression, and memory problems.

This was not the first time that experts linked lack of sleep with an increased risk of stroke. Just last year, a group of British researchers collected and analysed data of over 470,000 people in eight countries. Their report was published in the European Heart Journal. According to Dr. Francesco Cappuccio of the Warwick Medical School in England and co-author of the study, sleeping less than 6 hours each night increases the risk of developing a heart disease by 48% and stroke by 15%. Both of these conditions can be life-threatening.

In a report carried out by Vielife – a health and productivity firm based in UK, one out of 3 British workers has chronic sleep deprivation. The best way to energise your batteries after a hard day’s work is to sleep. Many people give so much effort in dieting and exercising but undermine the efforts to sleep for at least 6 hours a day. You can easily brush away drowsiness in the middle of the paperwork but habitual lack of sleep can harm your body and even put your life at risk.


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