Oversleeping may cause a stroke. That’s what researchers found ay the University of Cambridge in England. Ironically, the USA National Institute of Health indicates lack of sleep can lead to a stroke. To what end? In most instances vascular plaque may cause a stroke as well as a heart attack. Research does offer a great deal of ambiguity. Often there are many things that are overlooked. Let’s consider possibilities of a stroke and sleep time.
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? This may be an early symptom of a possible stroke. Like a heart attack, a stroke is a medical emergency. The difference is it affects the brain. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. While there ay be similar causes, a stroke is very different than a heart attack. New research appears to indicate that stroke possibilities may be associated with the amount you sleep.
Strokes might be related somehow to how long you sleep. Strokes often result from vascular conditions that block natural blood flow. Blockages in the arteries around your heart may lead to heart problems. Blockages in the carotid arteries (at the left and right sides of your neck) may be likely causes of possible strokes. The carotid arteries supply blood to the large, front part of the brain, where thinking, speech, personality and where sensory and motor functions reside. A stroke occurs when a blockage affects a certain part or parts of the brain.
There are different types of stroke occurrences. A transient ischemic attack (also called TIA or “mini-stroke”) is one of the most important warning signs of a stroke. A TIA occurs when a blood clot briefly blocks an artery that supplies blood to the brain. TIA are indicators of the likelihood of getting a stroke. The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three main types of stroke: ischemic stroke (caused by blood clots) hemorrhagic stroke (caused by ruptured blood vessels that cause brain bleeding) transient ischemic attack (TIA) (a “mini-stroke,” caused by a temporary blood clot). Fewer people with high cholesterol levels are monitored for brain vessel blockages than heart blockages. Can brain blood blocks be behind why some need to oversleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines, there are specific ranges of sleep time that experts recommend for health and performance. We can surmise that interrupted or short sleeping can be unhealthy but what about sleeping too long?
Britain’s Cambridge University just released a study that sleeping too long may possibly increase the risk of having a stroke. Among older people, sleeping too long may double their risks. Based on raw scores, The absolute risk of stroke was 4.1% for less than six hours’ sleep, 3.1% for six to eight hours, and 5.3% for over eight hours, before isolating age, sex, and other differences within samples. During a 10-year study with 346 participants , researchers reported “After adjusting for various factors including age and sex, the researchers found that people who slept longer than eight hours a day were at a 46% greater risk of stroke than average.”
Considering those possibilities that consistent oversleeping beyond guidelines might result in possible brain damage makes a stroke and sleep time somewhat frightening.
According to the USA National Institute of Health, a lack of sleep can also be dangerous and may be the cause of some vehicular accidents. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. While some small sleep studies indicate that Sleep Apnea interrupted sleep may lead to a type of stroke, the correlations are based on small samples.
Yet there’s more than Sleep Apnea that can interrupt sleep. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes. On the reverse trend, some dieters may lose sleep due to low sugar levels during sleep.
Your body and brain require lots of energy during sleep. Rapid Eye Movements or REM are very active states when you dream and many neurocognitive processes are automatically performed. Abnormal sugar levels can result in hunger pains as you get up for a snack or hot chocolate (which may have caffeine to keep you awake).
During dream sleep, which occurs around 4 times per full sleep period, electrical brain signals are similar to those when you are awake. While your body is paralyzed, your active within your dreams. You have rapid eye movements or REM beneath closed eyelids when you dream. Dream sleep is very dynamic as chemicals help code memories and maintain cognitive mechanisms. They occur in your sleep pattern whether you sleep 6hours or eight hours. These are normal and healthy. There is no correlation with stroke.
The association of stroke incidence and long sleep is part of the EPIC-Norfolk program that provides funding to the University of Cambridge in England. Researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge followed just under 10,000 people aged 42-81 years of age from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk cohort over 9.5 years. During 1998-2000 and then again four years later, they asked the cohort how many hours on average they slept in a day. Analysis associated oversleep with stroke incidence but exactly what the reason might be is unclear.
Many illnesses may disrupt normal sleep patterns and pain or discomforts may disturb sleep. While napping may offer considerable health benefits, it depends when and how efficiently you sleep and at what levels of sleep patterns. Napping at the wrong times may each day may chronically disrupt normal circadian patterns of habitual sleep.
The Cambridge study used cancer patients as part of the sample. Irregular and long sleep are likely cohorts as patients advance through the stages. Can stroke occur? Possibly but how do you correlate it with normal over sleeping?
Chronic Circadian disruptions have been shown to help elevate certain cancer and cardiovascular diseases. There are many circadian disruptions that can significantly alter how briefly or how long you sleep. Making up on lost sleep may be difficult.
Sleeping longer on weekends may disrupt your weekday patterns so that, when you return to work, you feel tired. NREM sleep and REM sleep continue to alternate through the night in a cyclical fashion. On weekends you are likely to sleep and awaken naturally. On work days, many use an alarm. If you awaken from your last REM you are likely to feel more refreshed than awakening from an NREM cycle. An alarm doesn’t always synch with your sleep patterns.
Try to sleep according to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines. Good habitual sleep is as healthy as activities and sleeping too briefly or too long as habits may result in some type of problem. My perspective is not to lose sleep over it. There are dozens of more plausible issues that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. There are many sleep specialists that perform sleep studies to help you find your normal sleep pattern and how to get there.
If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, it might be wise to investigate blockages in your carotid arteries. Elevated cholesterol isn’t just a cardiology issue. The test is a painless sonogram. Try to correlate the results. Obstructive sleep apnea may result in sleepiness through the day and carotid artery disease. Ergo, the possibility of a stroke.