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Is there a link between sleeping and stroke risk?

Sleep habits and sleep quality have not only been shown to affect the risk of heart disease, they may also be able to help identify risk for stroke. Research studies have found that sleeping fewer than 7 or 8 hours a night and sleeping for longer durations each carry an increased risk of stroke.
Additionally, stroke risk is increased in both men and women with obstructive sleep apnea, a frequently undiagnosed condition in which breathing is interrupted throughout the night. Researchers from the Sleep Heart Health Study found that men with sleep apnea have double the risk of stroke, with risk increasing or decreasing based on the severity of the condition. Women with severe sleep apnea are at increased risk of stroke compared to those without the condition.
If you are concerned about your stroke risk, you may wish to consider the quality and quantity of your sleep. If you tend to sleep less than 7 hours a night, you may benefit from going to bed earlier. If you sleep for long durations, you may want to speak with your physician to rule out underlying conditions.
And if you suspect sleep problems such as sleep apnea, diagnosis and treatment are critical for protecting your cardiovascular health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.