Daylight savings time is often viewed as a minor inconvenience, but new research suggests that this biannual phenomenon might actually be causing some health problems. In a study lead by Dr. Jori Ruuskanen for the University of Turku in Finland, over 14,000 patients who had strokes in the weeks surrounding daylight savings time were examined. The researchers found that people were eight percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke during the two days following daylight savings time. The following information may help post-stroke caregivers in Orlando understand this correlation.
How Does Daylight Savings Affect Stroke Risk?
The time transitions that occur with daylight savings time seem to increase stroke risk because it disrupts a person’s natural sleep cycle. This is why the stroke risk is only increased for two days following the transition. By the third day, people have adjusted to sleeping and rising at a new time. During the study, people who already had disrupted sleep cycles due to old age or illness were approximately 20 percent more likely to experience a stroke than the general population.
Why Does a Lack of Sleep Cause Strokes?
In the past few years, there have been several studies examining the link between sleep loss and an increased stroke risk. According to a 2012 study by Megan Ruiter of the University of Alabama, people who get less than six hours of sleep per night are four times more likely to have a stroke. This means that sleep deprived people are even more likely to have a stroke than obese people. With the sudden change in time, many people end up sleeping poorly in the few nights following the time transition and this lack of sleep may be triggering a stroke. When people do not sleep well, they are tired and stressed, which means their blood pressure remains high throughout the day. This high blood pressure applies too much pressure on the arteries, which is why ischemic strokes are more likely to occur after a sleepless night.
While caring for a senior who is recovering from stroke, it’s important to establish a routine sleep schedule. Home Care Assistance of Orlando provides flexible live-in and hourly post-stroke home care Orlando seniors need to recover quickly and effectively from stroke. Our highly trained caregivers help seniors maintain a balanced lifestyle including routine sleep cycles, nutritious meal preparations, mobility training, and exercise to promote wellbeing and an effective recovery. Call (407) 232-7155 today to schedule a free in-home consultation and learn more about our comprehensive stroke care.