The health benefits associated with spending enough time in your double bed have once again been highlighted by new research. According to the study, a habitual lack of a good night's sleep needs to be recognised as a stroke risk factor. Scientists at the University of Alabama showed that middle-aged people who slept for less than six hours each night were more likely to be at risk of a stroke than those who got plenty of shut-eye. In the study by researchers, sleep was the most powerful factor influencing the stroke risk. Perhaps surprisingly, sleep deprivation had a greater effect than being overweight or obese. Dr Megan Ruiter, who led the research, said: "These results may serve as a preliminary basis for using sleep treatments to prevent the development of stroke." Of sleeplessness as a problem, she explained: "Sleep and sleep-related behaviours are highly modifiable." She suggested cognitive behavioural therapy as one helpful approach. The results of the study were presented by Dr Ruiter at the Sleep 2012 meeting which took place in Boston.