Many seniors and their caregivers are not aware of a 2015 study indicating that too much sleep could result in an increased risk of stroke. The study, published at Neurology.com, claims that those who sleep longer than eight hours each day could be at an increased risk for stroke. This includes not only the elderly, but people of every age. So why are we concerned about seniors?
As we grow older, most of us sleep longer because we’re not working or as actively engaged in social functions. It’s just natural to sleep longer, and while for years we thought lots of sleep would contribute to better health, it seems now that the opposite is true.
According to the study, nearly 9,700 people between the ages of 42 to 81 were studied, individuals who had never experienced a stroke. Research tracked how many hours per night each person in the study slept from the time the research began, until it was complete. Results found that over a 10 year period in which the study was conducted, 346 of those who participated suffered strokes. Ultimately, it was determined that those who slept more than eight hours per day were at a far greater risk of having a stroke than people who slept six to eight hours per day. In fact, those sleeping longer than eight hours were nearly 50% more likely to suffer a stroke!
It’s important to note that these figures were derived after other behavioral and health variables had been accounted for. In addition, it seemed that, for those who found they needed to sleep for longer periods over the course of the study, the risk of stroke increased.
Older adults often do require more sleep than those who are younger; however, many seniors reported fewer hours of sleep per day than they actually slept. In other words, many older adults sleep longer than they realize. This could be an early indicator of an increased risk of stroke.
Ultimately, excessive sleep combined with other risks for stroke could be a concern. It’s essential for seniors who notice a change in their sleeping habits to talk to their doctors, particularly those who are already at an increased risk.
At Care Indeed, our goal is to educate seniors and their loved ones about physical and mental issues that become greater concerns as you grow older. Whether you’re a senior or the adult child of an aging parent, know the risks and be aware. For compassionate, quality care provided by our Menlo Park senior care experts, contact us today.