A new study has found that shorter sleep duration is linked with lower bone mineral density (BMD) and a higher risk of osteoporosis.
The study included 11,084 post-menopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative with a mean age of 63 years. Those who reported sleeping five hours or less per night had lower BMD at all four sites assessed, namely, whole body, total hip, femoral neck and spine, when compared with women who reported sleeping seven hours per night.
After adjustments, women reporting sleep of five hours or less per night had 22 per cent higher risks of low bone mass and 63 per cent higher risk of osteoporosis of the hip. Similar results were seen with the spine. The authors noted that the associations between sleep and BMD were modest.
Presenting the findings in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the authors said prospective studies are needed to explore whether sleep duration is linked with BMD loss. “If studies show that sleep duration has a causal link with bone density, sleep promotion interventions may serve as a way to mitigate bone loss in individuals at high risk of osteoporosis,” they concluded.