The researchers said it is unclear why this association exists and call for further research to explore the link.
    
Researchers from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, UK, followed just under 10,000 people aged 42-81 years of age from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk cohort over 9.5 years.
    
During 1998-2000 and then again four years later, they asked the cohort how many hours on average they slept in a day and whether they generally slept well.
    
Almost seven out of ten participants reported sleeping between six and eight hours a day, whilst one in ten reported sleeping for over eight hours a day.
    
Participants who slept for less than six hours or more than eight hours were more likely to be older, women and less active.
    
Over the almost ten year period of the study, 346 participants suffered a stroke, either non-fatal or fatal stroke.
    
Their final analysis, including 560,000 participants from seven countries, supported the findings from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort study.
    
The study is published in the journal Neurology.

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