Another Reason to Sleep Well and Exercise

Adequate sleep, regular exercise tied to reduced stroke risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh

(RxWiki News) There's now even more evidence to help back up the touted health benefits of sleep and exercise.

Getting enough sleep and exercise may reduce stroke risk, new research found. This research, which was presented at a conference and has not yet been published, found that getting between seven and eight hours of sleep each night and exercising 30 minutes to an hour three to six times per week might "greatly reduce" stroke risk in adults.

These findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of stroke and related health problems.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot or other blockage, which keeps oxygen from reaching the brain. Stroke, a leading cause of death in the US, takes the lives of around 130,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Study author Azizi Seixas, PhD, of the New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues reached their findings through a computerized analysis of the survey answers of 288,888 US adults. This data was gathered between 2004 and 2013.

The survey addressed topics like sleep duration, physical activity level and stroke history. Patients who said they got seven to eight hours of sleep per night were 25 percent less likely than other patients to have had a stroke.

Less than seven hours of sleep was tied to a 22 percent increased risk of stroke, Dr. Seixas and team found. Those who slept longer than eight hours per night, however, also appeared to have an increased risk of stroke compared to other patients.

Patients who slept seven or eight hours on average per night and who exercised 30 to 60 minutes three to six times per week had a "significantly" decreased stroke risk, these researchers found.

This research was presented Feb. 18 at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2016. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

Information on funding sources and conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Review Date: 
February 13, 2016
Last Updated:
February 19, 2016