If you have trouble sleeping, you may be at greater risk of a stroke, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.
Researchers surveyed nearly 4,500 individuals across the globe, about half of whom had experienced a stroke and about half who had not. The average age of participants was 62.
People who got less than five hours of sleep each night were three times more likely to have had a stroke than those who got the recommended minimum of seven hours for adults. Those who got more than nine hours of sleep were also twice as likely to have a stroke, researchers found.
What’s more, those who napped for longer than an hour were nearly 90% more likely to have a stroke than those who napped less than an hour.
Sleep-related factors that may increase stroke risk
Researchers also noticed a connection between breathing issues during sleep and stroke risk. Those who snored were 91% more likely to have a stroke than those who didn’t, and people who snorted or had sleep apnea were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke.
People with five or more of the following symptoms may be at a five-times-greater risk of stroke, according to researchers:
- Snoring while sleeping
- Snorting while sleeping
- Sleep apnea
- Poor-quality sleep
- Taking long naps
- Sleeping too little
- Sleeping too much
Christine McCarthy, a researcher in the department of geriatrics at the University of Galway in Ireland and one of the study’s authors, says she hopes the findings spur doctors to discuss stroke risk with their patients who have sleeping issues.
“Our results suggest that sleep problems should be an area of focus for stroke prevention,” she said in a release about the study.