Insomnia? Oversleeping? Both May Increase Your Risk of Stroke
There is growing evidence that sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea are related to stroke risk and recovery from stroke, according to a recent literature review published in the online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Authors recommend that people who have had a stroke or a mini-stroke, called a transient ischemic attack, be screened for sleep disorders.
“Although sleep disorders are common after a stroke, very few stroke patients are tested for them,” said study author Dirk M. Hermann, MD, of University Hospital Essen in Essen, Germany. “The results of our review show that should change, as people with sleep disorders may be more likely to have another stroke or other negative outcomes than people without sleep problems, such as having to go to a nursing home after leaving the hospital.”
The researchers also recommend that sleep apnea be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), based on evidence that shows that its use can improve outcomes after stroke.
For the literature review, the researchers examined dozens of studies that looked at the link between sleep disturbances and stroke. They then combined the data of multiple studies in a meta-analysis.
The review found evidence linking sleep breathing problems with stroke risk and recovery.