Stroke is a sudden loss of consciousness and voluntary movement which is caused by a disruption of blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Your body and your heart need sleep to rest. During sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure slows down. If you don't get enough sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure does not slow down sufficiently.
When you have bad sleeping habits, your body will release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which may increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Snoring can also increases the risk of developing stroke and heart failure. Sleep apnea stroke occur frequently in the morning, between 6am & 7am, while the person is in the process of awakening.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1What is the cause of a stroke?
- 2What are the risk factors for strokes?
- 3Is Sleep apnea a risk for Strokes?
- 4How is Sleep apnea diagnosed?
- 5What is the treatment for Sleep Apnea Stroke?
- 6What natural strategies are used to reduce the risk of strokes?
It’s the result of loss of blood flow and oxygen to parts of the brain. It could be caused from a blockage, a rupture or a haemorrhaging, of a blood vessel in the brain.
Treatment after a stroke within 4,5 hours could mean the difference between life and death. Silent strokes or mini strokes don’t cause stroke symptoms, but are associated with cognitive dysfunction which increases the risk of having a stroke.
Minimize your stroke risk by optimizing and maintaining a good blood pressure. High blood pressure may also cause vascular complications such as heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke and kidney disease. Having an impaired glucose tolerance will increase the stroke risk.
Low levels of good cholesterol, heart rhythm irregularities and sleep apnoea increase your stroke risk as well. Dietary and lifestyle management together with natural supplements and certain drugs, as well as blood testing can reduce the risks of a stroke.
- High blood pressure:
Strokes caused by people with high blood pressure, can be prevented by lowering the blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured as systolic (pressure when blood is expelled out of the heart, when contracting), and diastolic (pressure between contractions). People with a healthy blood pressure are at lower risk for strokes than people with a high blood pressure. High blood pressure contributes to atherosclerosis and blood clot formation.
- Elevated Homocysteine:
Homocysteine is an amino acid derivative that can damage blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine are associated with higher stroke risks and recurrence. Disrupts endothelial tissues and stops the growth of new endothelial cells and then contributes to atherosclerotic plaque formation. High levels of Homocysteine disrupt the function of brain cells and their survival.
- C- reactive protein:
C-reactive is a protein in the blood that works with the level of systemic inflammation. This protein is produced in the liver and its growth rate is regulated by pro-inflammatory proteins, this becomes elevated in people with inflammation, infection and tissue damage.
- Excess Fibrinogen:
Fibrinogen is a component in blood that helps with clotting/coagulation. High levels of this protein are associated with cerebrovascular disease.
- High LDL Cholesterol:
LDL is all over the body and important for cellular function. Cholesterol is carried to and from cells by lipoproteins. LDL “bad cholesterol” contributes to the build-up of plaque in arterial walls. High level of HDL “good cholesterol” helps to reduce the risk of stroke or cerebrovascular disease.
- Insulin resistance/Glucose tolerance:
Insulin signals cells to take up glucose from the blood. People with diabetes have abnormal sugar levels in the blood. Insulin resistance occurs when the levels are normal, but the ability to regulate blood sugar is impaired and therefore the blood sugar levels are high.
- Sleep apnea:
Sleep apnea is people who suffer from periodic breathing lapses during sleep. This is when the upper airway collapses for intermittent periods and makes the person gasp, or choke during night-time breathing. This also deprives them of oxygen during sleep, and is also associated with inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and oxidative stress. Sleep apnea may increase the risk of higher blood clots and strokes.
The interruption in breathing that is characterised with sleep apnea leads to low oxygen levels in the blood and the brain and may lead to ischemic strokes.
A Sleep Study is a monitoring study done while you sleep to assess certain important parameters. At Sleep Renewal, we are excited to launch "Home Sleep Studies", which can be done in the comfort of your own bed. The Home Sleep Study System uses Bluetooth technology to create a wireless body area network to maximise patient comfort and to measure the necessary parameters while you sleep.
Data from the overnight study is then sent to a neurophysiologist who will manually score your sleep pattern. If you do have OSA or UARS, you will then be referred to our Health Renewal doctors who will manage the process further
If you or a loved one snore and are suffering from memory loss and decrease cognitive function, don't hesitate to talk to a doctor at Health Renewal so that OSA or UARS, two common sleep breathing disorders, can be excluded.
Book a consultation with our Health Renewal doctors for Strokes.
The treatment for stroke that is cause by sleep apnea is CPAP (Continuous positive Airways Pressure) which reduces daytime drowsiness and improves your night sleep. If your spouse or bed partner tells you that you snore or stop breathing during sleep, then speak with your Health Renewal doctor about getting a sleep study done.
These are preventative measures to reduce inflammation, maintaining healthy body weight, reducing cholesterol, suppressing homocysteine and fibrinogen levels, lower blood pressure.
- Mediterranean diet:
- Olive leaf and Olive oil
- L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-carnitine, and propionyl-L-
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B6, B12, and Folic Acid
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C