If you aren’t getting proper sleep on a nightly basis, you are increasing your risk of stroke. Sleep is the time when our bodies finally get to recharge and take a break from the busy day. Our hormones become regulated, our stress is reduced, and even our memories improve with proper sleep. As you can see, there is a lot on the line if you aren’t sleeping well.
Sleeping can get difficult as we age and, unfortunately, many seniors are actually sleep deprived. There are many reasons as to why seniors find it difficult to sleep, from anxiety to various health conditions that simply won’t let us rest. But sadly, not only do preexisting health conditions worsen with lack of sleep, but your risk for other conditions rises as well, including the risk of stroke.
Sleep reduces risk of stroke
Researchers found that sleeping through the recommended seven to eight hours a night – uninterrupted, of course – paired with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a few times a week can achieve maximum benefits when it comes to reducing the risk of stroke. Stroke risk was found to be cut by 25 percent in those who stuck to the seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
On the other hand, researchers found that sleeping longer or shorter than the recommended amount had the opposite effect.
Stroke risk factors
Along with getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly, if you want to cut your risk of stroke, further consider some of these additional risk factors and find ways to improve them:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Lack of physical activity
- Carotid or artery disease
- Certain blood disorders
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Illegal drug use
If you have any of these modifiable factors, your risk of stroke rises. Add poor sleep to the mix and you’re basically a ticking time bomb. Take the necessary steps to make lifestyle changes in order to better reduce your risk. Lastly, make sure you are getting proper sleep, as poor sleep can cause the above risk factors to worsen as well.