Could insufficient sleep lead to osteoporosis? The amount a person needs to sleep per night will vary across a lifespan and from person to person. Victoria Chiropractor, Dr. Stephanie Louie, recommends getting between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night – as a general rule – and anything less than 6 hours per night may be too little sleep. Inadequate sleep is commonly associated with chronic disease, and a new study has shown that it may also be linked to bone loss.
Researchers found that healthy men that participated in a sleep study had decreased levels of a blood marker of bone formation in their blood after three weeks of sleep restriction and circadian restriction, much like a person would experience if they were under the effects of jet lag or shift work. Circadian disruption was defined as “a mismatch between your internal body clock and the environment caused by living on a shorter or longer day than 24 hours” reports Dr. Christine Swanson who is one of the researchers who conducted the sleep study. Participants were observed for three weeks where they went to sleep four hours later than the previous day, which resulted in a 28-hour day. The longer day was likened to “flying four time zones west every day for three weeks.” To mimic shift work, the men were allowed to sleep only 5.6 hours per 24-hour period. Blood samples were taken before and after the three-week sleep study to measure bone biomarkers.
What researches found after the study concluded was that the subjects had significantly reduced levels of markers in the blood that would signal that new bone is being formed in the body. The decrease was larger for younger men than their older counterparts. They also found that old bone could break down without new bone being formed. This suggests that getting poor sleep may be the most detrimental to a person early in life because laying down a strong foundation of bone is crucial for long term skeletal health. Further data and studies need to be conducted to determine long term health consequences for both men and women. Ask yourself; are you getting enough sleep?
The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractic professional assessment.