A recent study from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology found that people who take long naps during the day or sleep 9 or more hours at night may have an increased risk of stroke.
The study is published in Neurology. One author is Xiaomin Zhang, MD, Ph.D.
Previous studies have shown that long nappers and sleepers have unfavorable changes in their cholesterol levels and increased waist circumferences, both of which are risk factors for stroke.
In addition, long napping and sleeping may suggest an overall inactive lifestyle, which is also related to an increased risk of stroke.
The study involved 31,750 people in China with an average age of 62. The people did not have any history of stroke or other major health problems at the start of the study.
They were followed for an average of six years. During that time, there were 1,557 stroke cases.
The people were asked questions about their sleep and napping habits. Midday napping is common in China.
About 8% of the people took naps lasting more than 90 minutes. And 24% said they slept nine or more hours per night.
The team found that people who took a regular midday nap lasting more than 90 minutes were 25% more likely to later have a stroke than people who took a regular nap lasting from one to 30 minutes.
People who were both long nappers and long sleepers were 85% more likely to later have a stroke than people who were moderate sleepers and nappers.
People who took no naps or took naps lasting from 31 minutes to one hour were no more likely to have a stroke than people who took naps lasting from one to 30 minutes.
The researchers also asked people about how well they slept. People who said their sleep quality was poor were 29 percent more likely to later have a stroke than people who said their sleep quality was good.
The results were all adjusted for other factors that could affect the risk of stroke. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.
The researchers say that more research is needed to understand how taking long naps and sleeping longer hours at night may be tied to an increased risk of stroke.
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