Sleep and Exercise Lower Stroke Risk

Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night and exercising 30 to 60 minutes, three to six times a week, are healthy behaviors that can greatly reduce adults’ stroke risk, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.

Researchers used a computerized analysis of health, lifestyle, demographic and other factors among 288,888 adults (77 percent white; nearly half 45 or older) who participated in a survey from 2004 to 2013. They analysis examined how long, average and short sleep durations, as well as physical activity such as walking, swimming, bicycling, gardening and more, impact stroke risk.

Researchers found:

  • Average sleepers — those who slept seven to eight hours a night — were 25 percent less likely to have experienced a stroke.
  • Long sleepers — those who got more than eight hours a night — were 146 percent more likely to have suffered a stroke.
  • Short sleepers, who slept less than seven hours a night, were 22 percent more likely to report having had a stroke.
  • Average sleep (7-8 hours) and vigorous leisurely activity (30-60 minutes) three to six times per week significantly decreased stroke risk.

Computer analysis of large, complex health information sets is an important tool for accurately determining health risks in populations, according to the authors.

Source: News Release