Sleep & Exercise

I am sleeping 10hrs or more some days. Other days is less than 7hrs is this normal? I am also putting on weight due to the lack of exercise any suggestions will be helpful?

Annette, you do not say when your stroke occurred. When I came home after my stroke two years ago, post stroke fatigue hit me in a big way. My experience is that sleep and rest time has lessened over time, but I still need an hour a day. Exercise post stroke depends on what weakness you have been left with. I had physio support for the first six weeks at home and then a weekly physio session at my stroke hospital once a week for about seven months after that. I was then signed off and found a local exercise group for the over 60s in my home town. I began this rather hesitantly, but our trainer encourages us to work to our abilities. I have been going to this for over a year and it has helped me enormously. Think about diet too. I have switched to a healthier diet with much less alcohol. In my area we also have a Life After Stroke Centre and I go there for strength and balance classes. Contact your local branch of the Stroke Association as well and see what they suggest.

Hi Annette64 and welcome! Regarding your sleep pattern, mine varies depending on how fatiqued I am. I am usually up a couple of times through the night to the loo but I was prior to my stroke too so no change there. A lot depends on your brain too. Some nights I sleep deeper than others and feel more refreshed when waking, like my brain has done a good 'service' through the night! Other times, I sleep well and feel OK when getting up but within a couple of hours, I'm shattered and have to have a little rest for an hour. I put this down to fatique rather than tiredness or lack of sleep. Sounds daft I know but all three are different to me. Fatigue can still occur post stroke for a long time despite how many hours sleep you have. This is part of stroke injury to the brain and I look at it that on days like this, my brain still has work to do and didn't quite finish it's tasks during the night. I find fatique the hardest part of recovery because it takes its toll on daily life. 

Regarding exercise, this is an interesting one. Prior to my stroke, I was fighting fit, went to the gym 3 times a week and did a regular hour and a half workout and I also went to Clubbercise (basically this is high impact aerobics done to clubbing music and great fun!) once a week too. I am 65 and was the oldest in the group but managed to keep up with the younger ones OK. I had, in fact, been to the gym on the morning of my stroke and had no warning that anything was wrong.  It took me 3 months after my stroke to get back to the gym again and, sadly, my clubbing days are over sad. I now go twice a week to the gym. However, there are certain things I just can't do yet because I just don't have the strength or stamina like I used to. I've been told this will come all in good time. Like you mention, because of this, I have put on 10 pounds in 6 months. I use My Fitness Pal which is on line and free and enter everything I eat and how much exercise I do daily. I find if I list what I've eaten, it helps me to see better how much protein, iron, calcium etc I'm consuming which is all necessary for recovery. It also shows how much hidden sugar is in certain foods too. Despite sticking to 1400 cals a day and going to the gym, my weight is still stagnant. 

So, I question is it the tablets I'm on that are stopping weight loss or causing fluid retention that adds to weight or is it that my body is now slower to burn off calories? Is it my metabolism that is all to pot, or is it just my body is too busy trying to mend itself that it just hasn't the capacity to concentrate on other things? Probably the answer is a combination of all those things. I'm hoping that as I gradually build up more strength and stamina, I will be able to put in more effort at the gym which will, in turn, burn off some calories. Until then, I'll just have to go shopping and buy some larger clothes LOL! 

Morning Annette

Fatigue is one of the most common effects of stroke unfortunately - you can read more about it here -

The information provided below by John and Onwards and Upwards is very useful though, but do remember not to do too much. Although weight gain can get you down, it can also be lost once you feel up to it and it is more important to rest as much as you can right now, and stick to a healthy diet and perhaps gentle walks when you're feeling up to it.

Take care


hi i had a stroke now 8 year ago i was very tired when o got home for about 6 months then when to a group at yeovil hospital a 12 week course one hour in the gym after that i was allowed to go in to the proactive group at the local gym cost about £69 for 12 weeks then i join the gym and now go 5 days per week for about 1 hour still get tired at night after 9.30 and have to go to bed by 10 .00 but i miss the gym if i cannot get there do a lot of volunteering but i try to get home by 3.00 for a rest take care and be positive listen to your body  

Nothing is normal regarding strokes! yes, like you I can get in 8 hours overnight and another hour during the day. A lot of the time that is not enough! I also agree with your weight gain problem. Thanks to lack of exercise I have had to put myself on a strict diet to offset the ever increasing waistline.