Sleep Disorders in Seniors Can Increase the Risk of Stroke

Sleep disorders in seniors are more than just a nuisance. The results of a recent study (published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke) show that a decrease in the amount or quality of sleep that a senior enjoys can dramatically increase their risk of hardening of the arteries in the brain, This, in turn, can lead to stroke.

The study examined the cases of over 300 patients who lived to the age of 90 and who had undergone at least a full week-long sleep study. When researchers correlated the data they found that individuals with poor sleep patterns (with or without a diagnosed sleep disorders in seniors studied) were much more likely to have suffered at least one stroke than those who enjoyed normal sleep patterns.

In fact, 61% of those with poor sleep patterns had moderate to severe damage to the blood vessels in the brain. That made the at risk group 21% more likely to have blood vessel damage than those who regularly slept through the night.

Sleep Disorders in Seniors Aren’t “Part of Getting Older”

Many of us believe that as we age less sleep is normal. We’ve all heard stories from older individuals who say they only sleep a few hours per night and get by fine the next day. However, no matter what your aging loved one says, their body still needs as much sleep as it did when they were in their 20s.

Sleep allows the body to rest and reset. It’s during our sleeping hours when the majority of the healing process occurs and sleep is essential for both mental and physical health. People who suffer sleep deprivation are at much higher risk for:

  1. Depression

  2. Heart Disease

  3. High Blood Pressure

  4. Memory and Cognitive Impairment

  5. Obesity (and all the health issues associated with it)

  6. Occupational Injury