Sleeping Longer Hours May be a Stroke Risk

In a long-term study of nearly 10,000 individuals, a team of scientists at Cambridge University found that sleeping more than eight hours per night correlates with a higher risk of stroke. 

In a long-term study of nearly 10,000 individuals, a team of scientists at Cambridge University found that sleeping more than eight hours per night — especially if that amount results from a recent increase in the number of hours slept — correlates with a higher risk of stroke. The study was recently published in the journal Neurology.

Over nine and a half years, Cambridge researchers participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC), measuring the sleep patterns of individuals aged 42 to 81 every four years. They asked the participants in the study how long they slept on average each night and whether they generally slept well.

"Participants who reported persistently long sleep — in other words, they reported sleeping over eight hours when asked at both points of the study — were at double the risk of stroke compared to those with persistently average sleep duration (between six and eight hours a day). This risk was even greater for those whose reported sleep increased from short to long over the four years — their risk was close to four times that of people who maintained an average sleep duration."

Beyond this study of 10,000 individuals, researchers analyzed data from 11 additional studies related to identifying the association between sleep duration and patterns of stroke risk. Their findings, which included more than 560,000 people, confirmed the results from the EPIC study they originally analyzed.

Yue Leng, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge, said that while a correlation between sleep time and stroke risk is clear, the nature of the relationship between sleep and having a stroke is not. Longer hours of sleep may be a symptom, an early marker, or a cause of cardiovascular problems that are known to promote blood clots and hemorrhage in the brain.

Leng said that further research should concentrate on isolating the specific relationship between sleep and stroke risk. In the meantime, medical professionals may want to ask middle-aged and elderly patients if they have experienced recent changes in their sleeping pattern. If so, it may indicate an increased risk of stroke.

Read more at Science Daily.

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

Why Lil Dicky made this star-studded Earth Day music video

"Earth" features about 30 of the biggest names in entertainment.

Culture & Religion
  • Lil Dicky is a rapper and comedian who released his debut album in 2015.
  • His new music video, "Earth," features artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheehan, Kevin Hart, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • All proceeds of the music video will go to environmental causes, Dicky said.
Keep reading Show less

After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

Keep reading Show less

Behold, the face of a Neolithic dog

He was a very good boy.

Image source: Historic Environment Scotland
Surprising Science
  • A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog.
  • It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.
  • The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended.
Keep reading Show less