How to avoid a stroke when you wake up tomorrow

Volume 6    |    Issue 21

Don't forget to set your clock ahead one hour tonight. And don't forget to protect yourself against a stroke too.

A new study out of Finland shows that setting the clock back or forward one hour causes a sharp increase in your risk for ischemic stroke. Fortunately, the increased risk is temporary.

Study author Jori Ruuskanen, MD, PhD, of the University of Turku in Turku, Finland said: "Previous studies have shown that disruptions in a person's circadian rhythm, also called an internal body clock, increase the risk of ischemic stroke, so we wanted to find out if daylight saving time was putting people at risk."

The answer is yes.

To discover this answer the researchers looked at data from the past 10 years for stroke in Finland to find the rate of stroke. They looked at the rate of stroke in 3,033 people hospitalized during the week following a daylight saving time transition. Then they compared these to the rate of stroke in a group of 11,801 people that were hospitalized in the two weeks before or two weeks after that initial week.

The researchers discovered that the overall rate of ischemic stroke was 8% higher for the first two days after the time change. After those two days, there was no difference.

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But this wasn't all they discovered. The researchers also found that people with cancer had a 25% higher risk of stroke in those two days after the time change. And for those over the age of 65, the risk was 20% higher. What's interesting is that those in the hospital didn't see any increase in risk. All of this reveals some clues about why daylight savings can increase your stroke risk.

When you're in the hospital, nothing really changes. Your room stays the same, the routines stay the same, and the clock doesn't really matter too much to you. You continue to operate the same way. It doesn't disrupt your internal clock.

If you're very sick or have a compromised cardiovascular system, even a slight change in that clock can do enough to cause a stroke. It's like the change throws your system off just enough to open a window of weakness that your body can't protect against.

But you can protect yourself from this change. If you're at high risk, go ahead and set your clock forward tonight, but try to stay on the same schedule. Go to bed at the same time you did last night. Reset your clocks as you go to bed. And take some magnesium. If you have some on hand, take some Circutol as well. This combination can help prevent strokes.

Then wake up naturally — without an alarm. Let your body adjust to the time change gradually. Taking 3 mg of melatonin before you go to bed will help your body adjust faster. As soon as you wake up, drink a glass of water. Studies have shown that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning can help you avoid strokes. Do this for the next two to three days. If you notice anything that isn't right, call 911. The sooner you treat a stroke, the better your chances of avoiding permanent damage.

Your insider for better health,


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