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Sleep position linked to apnoea

Stroke patients spend most of their time sleeping on their backs, which may contribute to a breathing problem called sleep apnoea.

Sleep position linked to apnoea

Stroke patients spend most of their time sleeping on their backs, which may contribute to a breathing problem called sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is very common after stroke and is associated with poor outcome. Studies in the past have indicated that sleeping on the back elevates the risk of developing sleep apnoea, a condition characterised by breathing problems and snoring while sleeping and excessive daytime sleepiness. To further investigate the pattern of sleep positions in stroke patients and the increased risk of developing apnoea, researchers from America performed sleep testing that included monitoring the sleep positions of 30 patients hospitalised with a stroke. The average patient age was 67 years. It was noted that the patients spent the vast majority of their sleep time in the supine position. Of all the stroke patients, 63 percent spent no time asleep in any other position - prone, left or right. Further, the time spent sleeping on their back increased as the severity of the stroke worsened. The researchers now look forward to research into positional therapy for stroke patients with sleep apnoea.
Stroke
September 2008
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