The scary “sleep-stroke” connection

Sleep affects so many areas of health.

Yet, it’s an underrated virtue.

Last week, I told you how prioritizing good sleep can help increase your lifespan.

Today, I want to expand on that topic.

Because new research uncovered a downright scary consequence of poor sleep…

Scattered sleepers are at risk

Scientists at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) found a link between insomnia and stroke risk.

In fact, adults under 50 who experienced one to four symptoms of insomnia had a 16 percent increased chance of suffering a stroke. That risk skyrocketed up to 51 percent among those who experienced five to eight symptoms of disordered sleep.

That means scattered sleepers are nearly four times more likely to suffer a stroke than good sleepers!

(Comparatively, adults over 50 years experienced a 38 percent increased stroke risk.)

Now, there are plenty of symptoms that can be linked to poor sleep (or insomnia). But something as simple as still feeling tired in the morning (especially if it’s due to difficulty falling and staying asleep) could be a telltale sign.

If you have any symptoms that point to poor sleep, there are many steps you can take without resorting to drugs. Be sure to check your inbox for tomorrow’s Reality Health Check, where I’ll provide sensible tips and tricks to tackle insomnia.

But first, let’s jump to the other side of this scary finding…

Act FAST at any sign of stroke

In the study, insomnia mixed with other pre-existing health conditions, such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, increased stroke risk even further.

But it’s important to recognize the signs of stroke, as time is of the essence. A quick response can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the risk of long-term disability or death.

FAST is the acronym created to help us understand the signs of symptoms of stroke:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. Time is critical when a stroke is occurring.

Other symptoms include confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, trouble seeing, difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance, and a lack of coordination.

Since these symptoms are a bit broad and vague, if there is ever ANY doubt, err on the side of caution and call 9-1-1.

Until next time,

Dr. Fred


“Having more symptoms of insomnia sends the risk of stroke skyrocketing.” StudyFinds, 06/07/2023. (