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Lack of Sleep Increases Stroke Risk

from USA Today

The 30% of working adults who routinely sleep less than six hours a night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke, says a new study. The findings are the first to link insufficient sleep to stroke; they're also the first to apply even to adults who keep off extra pounds and have no other risk factors for stroke, says Megan Ruiter, lead author of the report. It will be presented Monday at the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

"People know how important diet and exercise are in preventing strokes," says Ruiter, of the University of Alabama in Birmingham. "The public is less aware of the impact of insufficient amounts of sleep. Sleep is important--the body is stressed when it doesn't get the right amount."

The number of people who report eight or more hours of sleep a night has dropped from 38% in 2001 to 28%, says the National Sleep Foundation. A government study in May found 30% of working adults get six hours or less. Experts recommend seven to nine.

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