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  • Good sleepers less likely to suffer stroke

    Author: AAP

People who sleep well are less likely to suffer strokes, a new study suggests.

Researchers say suboptimal sleep is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke.

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And nine in 10 people do not usually get a good night's sleep, they say.

"The low prevalence of good sleepers was expected given our busy, 24/7 lives," said study author Dr Aboubakari Nambiema of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris.

"The importance of sleep quality and quantity for heart health should be taught early in life when healthy behaviours become established.

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"Minimising night-time noise and stress at work can both help improve sleep."

Researchers examined data on 7200 men and women in France aged 50 to 75.

At the start of the study, between 2008 and 2011, researchers collected various health information from participants, including their sleep habits.

They were assessed again during two follow-up visits and researchers tracked participants for up to 10 years to see if they went on to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

At the start of the study 10 per cent of participants had an "optimal" sleep score, meaning they slept seven to eight hours per night; they did not have insomnia; they had no excessive day time sleepiness and no sleep apnoea.

After an average follow-up period of eight years, 275 people developed coronary heart disease or had a stroke.

Those who slept "optimally" were found to have a 74 per cent lower risk of heart disease or stroke compared with those with the lowest sleep scores, according to a new study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Barcelona.

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