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Does Daylight Savings Interfere with Stroke Risk?

By Home Care Assistance, 9:00 am on

Many groan at the thought of losing an hour’s sleep over daylight savings time. In addition to being annoying, however, studies indicate that the event may also be a health hazard to some people, particularly seniors. Specifically, researchers in Finland learned that disrupting the sleep cycle might increase the risk of ischemic stroke. These findings are particularly important for seniors who receive post-stroke care in Ft. Lauderdale

A number of previous studies revealed that shift workers are more inclined to have trouble with cardiovascular disease and stroke due to disrupted circadian rhythm cycles and sleep patterns. However, a group of scientists from the University of Turku led by Dr. Jori Ruuskanen were curious as to whether or not individuals suffered ill effects secondary to daylight savings time. 

The group gathered and evaluated the data involving more than 11,000 people who were hospitalized two weeks before and two weeks after daylight savings time. Based on the reasons for the hospitalizations, the scientists found that on the Monday and Tuesday following the Sunday time change, the number of people seeking medical attention for stroke symptoms was eight percent higher. The researchers also found that the stroke risks for cancer patients rose by 25 percent. Additionally, seniors over the age of 65 had an increased risk of 20 percent. The data also revealed that the greatest number of strokes occur in the mornings. 

As the days progressed past the weekend, the percentages gradually declined as individuals eventually adapted to the time change. Dr. Ruuskanen was quick to point out that all of the stroke patients had a number of contributing factors leading to the eventual outcome. However, for reasons still unknown, the disrupted sleep cycle brought these factors to a head. 

Keeping in mind the possible dangers related to lost sleep, the National Sleep Foundation suggests that people sleep in on Sunday morning to counteract the effects of the lost hour. Another alternative includes taking a nap in the afternoon. Family caregivers in Ft. Lauderdale should ensure seniors in their care make up for lost sleep as aged people are more susceptible to their younger counterparts.

Should your loved one experience stroke and need help at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Ft. Lauderdale. We are a dedicated provider of post-stroke home care Ft. Lauderdale seniors need to confidently recover in their own homes. Our compassionate caregivers ensure our client’s needs are met by offering personal care assistance and mobility training as well as emotional support. This allows seniors to recover swiftly and safely in a familiar environment. Call an experienced Care Manager at (954) 909-0370 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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