You are told to get plenty of sleep as part of a heart healthy lifestyle to help reduce blood pressure. However, a recent study published in the journal Neurology has found that too much sleep may actually increase stroke risks.
A study by researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick in England looked at over 9,000 people between the ages of 42 and 81 who had never had a stroke, and were considered “long sleepers.” The sleeping habits of the subjects were tested at baseline and four years, and the subjects were followed up 9 years after the study.
It was found that getting an average of more than 8 hours of sleep a night increased stroke risk by nearly one-half, compared to those who slept 6 to 8 hours a night on average. This finding was strongest for people at least 63 years of age, while younger adults were at greater risk for stroke when they received less than 6 hours of sleep a night.
Like many things in life, balance is key to optimal health. A balanced meal plan, a work-life balance, as well as having a balance of being active and getting enough sleep, will put you in good standing for a heart healthy life.