Dr. Anuj Chandra attended the SLEEP conference in Boston, the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, where new evidence of the connection between insufficient sleep and stroke was released.
Sleep researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that people who routinely sleep only six hours a night have a risk of stroke four times greater than people who got seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
"One reason this is so significant is that the study looked at people who are not overweight and who are at low risk for obstructive sleep apnea," said Dr. Chandra, medical director of the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders. "We know that being overweight is a significant risk factor for stroke, but that was not a factor here."
Since 30% of working adults sleep less than six hours a night, According to the US Centers for Disease Control, this could affect an enormous number of people.
"People often overlook insomnia as a sleep issue," he said. "They think they just have to put up with it, but there are non-drug treatments for insomnia that work very well. This research shows how important it is to take insufficient sleep seriously. Treatment of insomnia does help reduce stroke. Insomnia needs to be recognized and treated."
The study also found a difference in risk according to racial group. “We find that sleep duration might partially explain the relationship between ethnic differences in stroke symptoms,” according to Megan Ruiter, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and a UAB post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine. “African-Americans had a greater prevalence of short sleep, and they were more likely to have stroke symptoms.”
Dr. Anuj Chandra is a board certified sleep specialist who treats patients in the Chattanooga area and trains physicians internationally. The Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders -- located at 6073 East Brainerd Road -- offers state-of-the-art sleep diagnostic testing in a home-like setting and treatment for sleep disorders like sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and others. For more information, visit the center’s web site at www.sleepforhealth.org. Dr. Chandra blogs at advancedsleep.blogspot.com.