Nighttime heat: The stroke risk we didn’t know about

No one hates being hot when they sleep more than I do. In the dead of winter, you’ll find my windows open and an extra quilt on the bed.

In the summer, well … even a sheet is sometimes too much.

Recently, a study revealed that my cool sleep habits not only help me feel more comfortable so I sleep better — but they may also cut down on my stroke risk…

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An overheated room is a stroke risk

Being too hot is one of the top five reasons that people have trouble falling asleep at night, right up there with insomnia and a racing mind.

And we know there are consequences if poor sleep becomes a chronic problem.

Now, a new study has found that being overheated while sleeping is linked to a very specific danger: it increases the risk of stroke, especially in women and the elderly.

A research team at Augsburg University Hospital in Germany analyzed data on around 11,000 strokes over fifteen years, they determined that extreme heat at night increases the risk of stroke by seven percent.

Now, seven percent may not sound like a lot.

But consider this: there are about 169 million women in the United States alone. And seven percent of that number is 11,830,000.

That means that excessive heat could potentially cause almost 12 million strokes that might not happen otherwise.

The scientists behind the research believe climate change is contributing to the problem…

That’s because from 2006 to 2012, hot nights resulted in two additional strokes per year, while from 2013 to 2020, there were 33 additional cases per year.

But even without taking climate change into account, it’s not hard to see how any of us could be sleeping in bedrooms where temperatures get too warm, especially during the summer months.

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How hot is hot?

For purposes of this study, a temperature of 58.28 degrees Fahrenheit was considered the threshold for defining a “Hot Night Excess Index.”

That temperature was exceeded only on the five warmest nights during the study period.

That’s almost 60 degrees. On a warm spring or summer night, it’s easy to see how a poorly ventilated room without air conditioning could reach temperatures much higher.

“Elderly people and women are particularly at risk, and it is mainly strokes with mild symptoms that are diagnosed in clinics after hot nights,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Cheng He.

Is YOUR bedroom a stroke risk?

My bedroom is at the top of the house (it used to be the attic). And heat rises.

I’ve combated this by installing a ceiling fan. If you can’t do this, then invest in a large floor fan that can blow directly at your bed.

I also keep the roof window open wide, allowing cooler nighttime air in. With my bedroom door open as well, there’s plenty of cross-ventilation.

During the dog days of summer, I use a portable air conditioning unit. Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may have an air-conditioned home and might want to reconsider your nighttime setting.

Even if you don’t feel your bedroom is too warm when you bed down for the night, pay attention to how often you wake up before morning because that’s often a clue. What you don’t want is to wake up sweating, because that probably means your room’s too warm.

Also, don’t overdress for bed during the warmer months. In fact, you should consider sleeping without any clothing at all. Studies show that those who do tend to experience more restful, high-quality sleep.

If you need extra help, supplementing folate can keep your blood moving by increasing nitric oxide to aid in cooling the skin and reducing risk for heart problems. Eating beets will as well if you’re a fan! They are rich in folate and many other protective nutrients.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


Night-time heat significantly increases the risk of stroke — Science Daily

Hot Nights Raise Stroke Risk — Neuroscience News

Nocturnal heat exposure and stroke risk — European Heart Journal

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.