The greatest risk was among women who sleep too long every night. Those who sleep for nine hours or more had a 70 per cent greater chance of suffering a stroke.
The risk is also increased among women who sleep for less than seven hours, although it is far less than for those who sleep more than seven hours. Those who sleep for six hours or less increase their risk 14 per cent, while those who sleep just one hour more than the optimal seven hours have a 24 per cent greater chance of having a stroke.
* Stroke needn't be a killer, or even leave the sufferer incapacitated, if hospitals act quickly, a new report suggests.
Stroke victims who have a brain scan within an hour of being admitted to hospital, and are then transferred immediately to a specialist stroke unit, would probably survive, and not suffer any long-term effects, says the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
As it is, around 150,000 Britons suffer a stroke every year, and more than a third dies or is left disabled.
(Sources: sleep and stroke - Stroke, July 17, 2008. doi: 10.11611STROKEAHA.108.521773); care and stroke - Daily Telegraph, July 23, 2008).