LIFESTYLE
19/02/2016 06:56 GMT | Updated 19/02/2016 06:59 GMT

Good Night's Sleep And Regular Exercise 'Significantly Cuts Stroke Risk', Study Reveals

Getting a good night's sleep and exercising regularly can greatly reduce the risk of stroke, researchers have revealed.

According to a new study, getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night and exercising three to six times per week leads to the lowest risk of stroke.

However sleeping for longer or shorter than this time can increase risk of stroke, researchers revealed, according to Press Association.

Researchers created a computerised analysis of factors, such as health, lifestyle, age and ethnicity, from 288,888 adults who took part in a survey from 2004 to 2013.

The results showed that average sleepers - those who slept seven to eight hours a night - were 25% less likely to have experienced a stroke.

Meanwhile, long sleepers - those who got more than eight hours a night - were 146% more likely to have suffered a stroke.

And short sleepers - who slept less than seven hours a night - were 22% more likely to report having had a stroke.

The authors concluded that average sleep (seven to eight hours) and vigorous leisurely activity (30 to 60 minutes) three to six times per week significantly decreased stroke risk.

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply is cut off from the brain, which is caused either by a clot (ischaemic stroke) or bleeding in or around the brain (haemorrhagic stroke).

According to experts, a large stroke can kill up to two million neurons per minute.

There are 152,000 strokes in the UK each year and it is the leading cause of complex disability. It is estimated that there are currently 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of arm weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.

Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

The study was conducted by the New York University School of Medicine presented their findings at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles.