In seniors, a raised risk of hardening of the brain arteries, and hence possibly a raised risk of the chances of a stroke, can be signaled by poor sleep. A study examined the autopsied brains of 315 people, twenty-nine percent of whom had suffered a stroke, and 61 percent had moderate-to-severe damage to blood vessels in the brain.
All of the people studied had participated in at least a week of sleep quality assessment sometime before dying. Sleep was disrupted (called “sleep fragmentation” — repeated awakenings or arousals) an average of nearly seven times an hour among the study participants. Those with the highest levels of sleep fragmentation were 27% more likely to have hardening of the brain arteries.
Two articles about the study, as well as the study itself, are linked in: Alzheimer’s > Risk Factors: