A report from The Conversation examines how sleep can positively impact recovery from a stroke.
Having a stroke can be a life-changing event and recovery can range widely. Some people regain most of the affected abilities early on while others improve very little within the first few months. One year on from a stroke 35% patients will remain permanently disabled and 10% will require care in a nursing home.
Millions of dollars are spent around the world every year on the rehabilitation and long-term care of stroke patients, and more effective stroke treatments are being investigated all the time. But beyond all the investment, research has shown that the simple art of sleep might help with the relearning of skills after brain damage.
And yet, in the stroke rehabilitation guidelines used by hospitals up and down the country, sleep is not mentioned. In neurorehabilitation – which is essentially rehabilitation of the brain – sleep is by and large ignored, even though we know that quality sleep can make a difference to patient recovery.