We hear all the time about how obesity in this country is out of control and putting more and more people at greater risk for serious health problems. According to a new study, healthy, normal weight, middle aged people might be at much greater risk of stroke if they don't get enough sleep, which is not good news for people like Leslie and I who do a morning radio show. You could be healthy, thin and in great shape, but if you get less than six hours of sleep per night, your chances for stroke symptoms almost quadruple!!

The study followed about 5,600 healthy, normal weight people aged 45 and older for three years. Megan Ruiter, a University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher who led the study said, "The really important take-home message is this: Don't blow it off. Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise."

Experts say that healthy adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, but one in three U.S. workers get less than seven hours per night and some less than six.

What's interesting is that the increased risk did not affect people who are overweight or obese and get less sleep. The risk seems to be more associated with healthy people who sleep less than they should. Bottomline is that more sleep will help you stay healthier. I average just over six hours per night and quite honestly, this study really got my attention and hopefully it will get yours as well.

 

[MSNBC]