Every year 15 million people globally suffer a stroke, nearly 6 million of these people die according to the World Heart Foundation. A new study conducted in Taiwan over 4 years found that adults under the age of 40 suffering from sleep deprivation are 8 times more likely to have a stroke.

Researchers in Taiwan studied health records of over 21,000 people suffering from insomnia. Insomnia was found to increase the risk of stroke in young adults. Insomniacs had the highest risk of stroke compared to those who had no sleep problems.

While the link between a stroke and insomnia is not definitive, researchers suspect that insomnia may weaken cardiovascular health. Other contributors that hurt your heart include smoking, drinking and stress.

The study which was published in ‘Stroke’ Journal highlights the importance of identifying and treating insomnia. Sleep disorders can be short or long term, sufferers may have trouble sleeping for a couple of days or for as long as 6 months.