Sleep less than five hours has been long been associated with adverse physical and mental health impacts. A new study has built on the proposition that sleep time shorter than five hours affects mineral bone density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. The prevalence of osteoporosis is high in older adults, especially in women. Older women who have attained menopause are already at higher risk of decreasing strength and density of their bones. This makes them prone to osteoporosis. Unsurprisingly, the risk grows rapidly as people age. Poor sleep aggravates the risk, found the study.
Researchers at University at Buffalo, NY, included the study on 11,084 women who had attained menopause. They all belonged to Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a long-term health study in the U.S. The research projects under National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) inter alia takes a closer look at assessing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Poor Sleep Affects Bone Remodeling in Postmenopausal Women
The investigators found that poor sleep affects bone remodeling—the interplay of formation and resorption. With aging bones tend to become porous. This adds to the risk of bone fracture in mainly four areas—spines, hips, and the neck, apart from the whole body. Further, several of these fractures may need surgeries. Hence, maintaining a lifestyle favoring degradation in BMD becomes crucial.
The research measured BMD in the women participants in these aforementioned areas. The cohort that slept less than five hours had the BMD equivalent to those who are a year older. The study removed the outlier due to factors such as age, race, smoking status, use of alcohol, and body mass index (BMI).
Unarguably, the study reiterated the role of inadequate hours of sleep for maintaining bone health. They are as essential to individuals as a good diet and regular exercise is for healthy lifestyle patterns.