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Sleep Time Tied To Bone Strength: Study

Better sleep could mean better bones, so it might be time to add a lower risk of osteoporosis to the long list of sleep benefits.

Stronger bones join such benefits as a lower risk for heart disease, better cognitive function, a stronger immune system, and more as a byproduct of better sleep. Research has found that sleeping longer than five hours per night leads to better bone strength.

A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that sleep time was associated with bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis risk. The work found that post-menopausal women who slept five or fewer hours per night had significantly lower BMD than those who slept more than five hours.

The study featured more than 11,000 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative, and the difference observed between the two groups was the equivalent of about a year of aging.

Much like your mind and other tissue in your body, your bones undergo regenerative processes during sleep. “Bone remodeling” takes place, where old tissue is removed, and new tissue is formed. Inadequate sleep may disrupt the process and cause bone weakness.

This study was a follow-up to address why women who were short on sleep were more likely to suffer a bone fracture than those who got adequate sleep. After taking bone scans from four sites – whole body, hip, neck, and spine – it became apparent that sleep duration has a major effect on bone density.

The good news is that bone health is modifiable. If you’re not clocking in five hours of sleep each night, try improving your night-time routine and pre-sleep rituals. They can include setting a new bedtime, finding relaxing activities before bed, and avoiding screens.

Bone health is about more than sleep, however. You may also improve bone density with a healthy, balanced diet and regular activity. So, like many other illnesses, you may be able to use diet, exercise, and sleep to reduce the risk for osteoporosis and bone breaks.


Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.

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https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jbmr.3879
http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2019/11/ochs-balcom-sleep-bmd.html#:~:text=The%20body%20undergoes%20an%20array,%2C%E2%80%9D%20Ochs%2DBalcom%20explains

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