Get more sleep and significantly lower your risk of stroke and heart disease

by John Phillip

(NaturalNews) A rapidly growing number of health-minded individuals understand that vascular disorders including stroke and heart are largely the result of preventable lifestyle practices that combine to dramatically increase risk of disease. Most people know that a natural diet of healthy, fresh greens, nuts and seeds alter genetic expression to maintain vibrant health. It is less known that sleeping fewer than six or more than nine hours each night increases the risk associated with these potentially deadly conditions.

Increasingly, adults are becoming overworked and more stressed due to workplace and family life circumstances. In addition to following a poor diet, these individuals tend to sleep less and unknowingly place themselves at greater risk for reduced quality of life and an early death. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have published the result of a study in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine journal that explains how sleeping fewer than six hours each day increases the risk of stroke symptoms among middle-aged to older adults who are of normal weight and at low risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Short sleep duration is a significant modifiable risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease

To conduct the study, researchers followed 5,666 individuals for three years to see what role a lack of sleep had on stroke risk. The participants had no history of stroke or ischemic disease, and the scientists adjusted for body-mass-index to account for any weight disparities among the participants. The study team recorded the first stroke symptoms, along with demographic information, stroke risk factors, depression symptoms and various health behaviors.

Researchers found that taking fewer than six hours of sleep each night was strongly associated with a greater incidence of stroke symptoms for middle-aged to older adults, even beyond other risk factors. The lead study author, Dr. Megan Ruiter noted “In employed middle-aged to older adults, relatively free of major risk factors for stroke such as obesity and sleep-disordered breathing, short sleep duration may exact its own negative influence on stroke development.”

Insufficient sleep patterns or excess sleep (defined as fewer than six hours or more than nine hours each night) is now seen as a modifiable risk pattern exerting as much influence on disease outcome as diet, physical activity or smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. Dr. Ruiter concluded “These results may serve as a preliminary basis for using sleep treatments to prevent the development of stroke.” In addition to following your healthy lifestyle, be certain to closely monitor daily sleep habits to significantly lower risk of stroke and vascular disorders.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.aasmnet.org/articles.aspx?id=1818
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611092341.htm
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/aaos-tro053112.php
http://www.medicaldaily.com

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