Stroke is one of the world’s leading causes of death and disability- particularly in the U.S. New research finds that the risk of this cardiovascular problem is greatly increased by excessive sleep.
Globally, an annual stroke is experienced among 15 million Trusted Source people. As a result, nearly six million of these people die, and five million are living with a disability.
More than 795,000 Trusted Source people in the U.S. each year have a stroke.
The list of traditional risk factors Trusted Source for Stroke is long, ranging from lifestyle elements to pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, including smoking.
More recently, as another potential risk factor, researchers have started to explore sleep duration. Some Trusted Source studies have found that either too much or too little sleep can increase the risk, including stroke, and cardiovascular events.
According to these research results, there is a higher risk of stroke associated with regular sleep deprivation and sleep for more than 7 hours per night.
A research report publishes in the Neurology journal now suggests a connection between daytime naps, excessive sleep, and risk of stroke.
Dr. Xiaomin Zhang, of the University of Science and Technology of Huazhong, Wuhan, China, is the corresponding author of the paper describing this research.
From 31,750 people in China, Dr. Zhang and the team gathered information. At the beginning of the study, none of the participants who were on average 62 years old had a history of stroke or other serious health condition.
The participants answered questions about their sleeping patterns and napping habits, and for an average of 6 years the researchers clinically monitored the group.
The team found that 8 percent of the participants habit to take naps that lasted longer than 90 minutes, and 24 percent reported at least 9 hours of sleep each night.
There were 1,557 strokes among the participants during the study period. Those who slept 9 or more hours a night were 23 percent more likely to experience a stroke than those who slept only 7–8 hours a night on a regular basis.
Those who had shuteye for less than 7 hours or 8–9 hours had no higher risk of stroke than those who slept for 7–8 hours.
Importantly, people who both slept for more than 9 hours and slept for more than 90 minutes a day had an 85% higher risk of stroke relative to those who slept and napped moderately.
Eventually, quality of sleep seemed to play a role, people who reported poor quality of sleep were 29 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who reported good quality of sleep.
After adjusting for potential confounders such as hypertension, diabetes, and smoking, these findings continued to be significant.
Dr. Xiaomin Zhang said: “These results highlight the importance of moderate napping and sleeping duration and maintaining good sleep quality, especially in middle-age and older adults.”
Researchers acknowledge some limitations to their work, as well as the need for more research.
Finally, the findings can only be applied to older, healthy Chinese adults and not to others.
Dr. Zhang’s explanation: “More research is needed to understand how taking long naps and sleeping longer hours at night may be tied to an increased risk of stroke, but previous studies have shown that long nappers and sleepers have unfavorable changes in their cholesterol levels and increased waist circumferences, both of which are risk factors for stroke,”
Furthermore long napping and sleeping may suggest an overall inactive lifestyle, also associated with increased risk of stroke.”


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