Sleep is well-known for its restorative activity in the body. However, there is an amount of sleep that is considered healthy and any amount beyond this point may have negative health consequences. Although dependent on an individual’s level of activity and age range, among other factors, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends 7-8 hours of sleep daily for adults and elderly. A study recently published in the journal, Neurology, observed a positive association between sleeping more than 8 hours a night and stroke risk. Those that slept more than 8 hours each night were 46% more likely to suffer from a stroke compared to their counterparts who slept 6-8 hours each night. This 10-year study involved 9,692 people aged 42-81 years. The investigators report several limitations of this study which include the use of participants’ self-reported sleep duration which is not always reliable and the inability to establish a cause-effect relationship. Whether or not sleep duration beyond 8 hours a night causes stroke is unknown however this study suggests a positive relationship between the two variables. What are your thoughts about this new research? How often do you discuss sleep health with patients?
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