Scientists warn that, too much sleep and snoring could put you at an increased risk of stroke. American researchers from the University of Buffalo, New York, have found that sleeping more than eight hours a night, snoring or being drowsy during the day can damage your health. Experts say this means snoring and sleep disorders will now have to be treated more seriously.
Dr David Smithard, Consultant in Stroke Medicine at East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust, said the American data confirmed what they knew of the links between snoring and stroke.
The results from the Western New York Stroke Screening Study, presented at the American Stroke Association's 26th International Stroke Conference showed that those who regularly slept more than eight hours a night had a 9% higher risk of stroke than those who slept less.
Adnan Qureshi, assistant professor of neurosurgery affiliated with the University of Buffalo's Toshiba Stroke Research Centre and the lead author on the study, said that certain sleep characteristics - such as sleeping for more than eight hours, the tendency to fall asleep during the day and the tendency to snore - influence the likelihood of having a stroke.
Professor Qureshi and his colleagues surveyed the sleeping patterns of 1,348 adults who had taken part in a stroke screening programme in Buffalo.Among those who reported experiencing day time drowsiness 14% suffered a stroke compared to 4% of those who remained alert during the day, even after classic risk factors which could lead to stroke were ruled out.The Stroke Association said they had found the study "fascinating" and called for more research.