BEACON TRANSCRIPT – According to an analysis of other 29 studies conducted by the American Academy of Neurology, insomniacs are at greater risk of having a stroke. The authors blame sleep disorders for the rise of an individual’s risk of stroke.
Even though insomnia is often experienced after a stroke, few such patients are tested for sleep issues. Study leader Prof. Dirk M. Hermann teaches neurology at Essen University Hospital in Germany. He pointed out that the analysis results show that sleep disorder sufferers are more inclined to have another stroke than people who sleep well.
There are a few types of sleep problems, such as sleep breathing difficulties (or sleep apnea) and sleep-wake disorders (restless leg syndrome, insomnia, hypersomnia). Sleep breathing difficulties are connected to diabetes, heart disease, depression and high blood pressure, while sleep-wake disorders are linked to the above-mentioned health conditions.
Hermann went on to say that sleep problems are more common in patients who have suffered a stroke, in a higher proportion than the general population. He added that sleep has a beneficial role for brain function after a stroke. It impacts the activity of the neurons, which can make connections more easily thanks to getting enough hours of sleep time.
Both insomnia and oversleeping (or hypersomnia) increase the risk in several ways:
Insomnia helps the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. This is why it can lead to vascular problems, like hypertension or cardiac dysfunction, inflammation of the blood vessels, thrombosis or atherosclerosis.
Those who suffer from oversleeping actually have superficial sleep and they try to compensate by taking longer sleeping times.
Researchers also suggest that there isn’t clear evidence for connecting sleep problems to the risk of stroke, but the conclusions show that people who organize their sleep patterns could reduce some of the risks for stroke in the long term.
Experts also advise people not to take sleep drugs, as these alter their circadian rhythms and can become addictive. For those who suffer from sleep apnea, it is recommended to use a continuous positive airway pressure machine, known as a CPAP machine, to fend off the risk of stroke.
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