Insomnia and oversleeping are both unhealthy, and a new review of past studies suggests that sleep disorders have a link with increased stroke risk and recovery from it.
In a press release distributed through Eurekalert and other science news portals, researcher Dirk M. Hermann, MD–from the University Hospital Essen in Essen, Germany–explains that sleep disorders are common after stroke, but very few patients with stroke are tested. The results of their research, he said, may force the medicine world to change that.
According to Dr. Hermann, people with sleep disorders, like sleeping more than recommended or the opposite, may be more likely to have another stroke or other health problems than people who don’t suffer such sleep issues.
For people with sleep apnea, Dr. Hermann’s team suggests the treatment with CPAP–or, a continuous positive airway pressure machine–based on the evidence that are available.
Finding the link between sleep issues and stroke
For the study, the team examined dozens of papers about sleep apnea and stroke, and the link between them, and combined the data in a meta-analysis.
The team explains that sleep disorders generally fall into two categories. First is breathing problems. Second is sleep-wake disorders. The first category mentioned is disrupting the breathing of a person while sleeping. Meanwhile, the second category is when insomnia and restless leg syndrome affect the amount of sleep time of a person.
Their review of past studies has yielded an evidence linking sleep breathing problems with risk of stroke and recovery. However, there is less evidence for the link between sleep-wake disorders and increase stroke risk and harm recovery.
With the lack of evidence for sleep-wake disorders and stroke, researchers say they are “cautious” to recommend treatment with drugs.
Sleep disorders in America
In a CDC report published February of this year, it was revealed that a total of sixty-two point two percent of American respondents reported a “healthy sleep duration,” although the same survey has found lower numbers among non-Hispanic blacks, American Indians and Alaska natives.
More than a third of Americans also reported sleeping less than seven hours in a twenty-four-hour period. The CDC says the trend suggests an ongoing need for public awareness and education about the benefits of having a good night sleep and working fewer hours at night.
The review appeared in the August 3, 2016 issue of Neurology online, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.