Those with sleep problems, such as snoring, may be at higher risk of stroke, a study has found.
The study looked at 4,496 people — 2,238 of whom had had a stroke before and 2,258 of whom hadn’t.
Participants were asked about their sleep patterns and habits, including how long they slept, the quality of their sleep, whether they took naps, whether they snored or snored during their sleep, and whether they had breathing problems.
Research shows that too much or too little sleep, long naps, poor sleep quality, snoring, snoring, and sleep apnea (interrupted breathing) increase risk.
People with five or more of these symptoms are at higher risk.
Experts say their findings, published in the journal Neurology, do not show that sleep problems cause strokes, but there is a link.
Studies also show that snorers are almost twice as likely to have a stroke as non-snoreers.
The researchers found that people who slept more than nine hours or fewer than five hours were more likely to have a stroke than those who slept an average of seven hours.
Study author Christina McCarthy, from the University of Galway in Ireland, said: “Our findings not only suggest that individual sleep problems may increase a person’s risk of stroke, but having more than five of these symptoms may lead to a five-fold increased risk of stroke, compared to those without any sleep problems.
“Our findings suggest that sleep problems should be an area of focus for stroke prevention.”
What are the causes of snoring?
Snoring occurs when airflow through the mouth and nose is blocked and the airways in the tongue, mouth, throat, or nose vibrate as a person breathes.
The vibrations occur when these parts of the body relax and narrow when a person sleeps.
According to the NHS, you are more likely to snore due to:
• alcohol consumption
• Sleeping position – mainly on the back
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Do British people snore a lot?
An independent 2022 study by Mute Snoring and One Poll surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK, US and Australia and analyzed their sleep and snoring habits.
In the UK, this is what the study found:
• 72% said snoring interfered with their daily life
• 46% feel embarrassed by snoring
• About 40% turn to sugary foods to stay awake during the day
• Research also found 67% of snorers were in Brighton
They also found that British men far outnumbered women when it came to snoring – 59% of men said they snored compared to 46% of women.
“Interestingly, when it comes to the age of snorers in the UK, unlike Australia, a significant number of young Brits admit to snoring,” the report said.