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Study: Sleep Issues Increase Risk Of Stroke

Dorathy Gass

As if sleep issues aren’t enough to deal with, (whether you love your sleep a little too much, or find it hard to sleep), it seems that you can’t win for losing these days: as according to a new study both oversleeping or not sleeping enough, could heighten an individual’s risk of stroke.

MSN reported that the study was published in Neurology, online, and revealed that sleep issues that fall on either end of the sleep disorder spectrum (that is, from insomnia to sleep apnea) seemed to be linked to an increase in the risk of stroke, or even hampering an individual’s recovery, after suffering from a stroke.

The research team gathered data for analysis from a variety of studies that targeted the combination of sleep and strokes.

Dr. Dirk M. Hermann chimed in on the study, stating that while sleep issues are not uncommon after a stroke, not many stroke sufferers are tested around this issue. He goes on to state that their study proves this should change; as individuals with sleep issues just might be likelier to have another stroke – or suffer a negative impact after a stroke, versus those people who don’t have any sleep problems. He notes that a ‘negative outcome’ example from this might result in a stroke patient going directly to a nursing home, after their hospital stay.

According to, sleep disorders have been long connected to a plethora of differing issues in the past; anywhere from gaining weight, to depression, to even Alzheimer’s disease.

For those of you who may be curious, the evidence connecting an increased risk of stroke and sleep-wake issues (such as restless leg syndrome or insomnia) was less than the link of sleep-breathing disorders (such as sleep apnea) and strokes. Therefore, the team refrained from advising drug treatments for these sleep-wake issues, pointing to any possible side effects. They also advised a need for an increase in research before this determination could be made.

So, what was recommended then? Well, the team advised towards an on-going positive airway pressure machine when it comes to sleep apnea, stating that it could also help with the recovery process, after a stroke.

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