Research continues to unearth the many ways in which a lack of sleep impacts different elements of our health. The latest looks beyond mere brain fog and bod fatigue in the day that follows an unrestful night to suggest we don’t just feel the toll in our muscles and minds, but in our bones.
The report comes from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, which compared over 11,000 generally healthy menopausal women clocking either fewer than five hours of sleep or a far more sensible seven.
After adjusting for outside factors, bone scan data found women who slept for less than five hours had significantly lower bone mineral density and higher odds of osteoporosis at the hip, neck, spine and total body.
The difference between the two groups was equal to approximately one year of bone ageing, and though study authors note that this is not a huge difference, they do say this:
“It tells us in yet one more aspect of health, sleep is important. Any chance we have to spread the message to improve sleep could be helpful in other aspects of physical and mental health”
Lead study author Heather M. Ochs-Balcom
The observational study doesn’t prove that short sleep causes osteoporosis in itself, only that the two are linked. Lower bone mineral density may, for instance, be associated with other conditions influencing sleep behaviour.
But the authors approach their discovery with excitement, because most of us have control over when we put down our phones and turn off the lights. Modern sleep science consistency points us to how important optimizing our time in bed can be for our overall wellbeing.
Take a look at the full study here.
ZZZZs promotes a restful and regenerative night’s sleep by combining 5-HTP with calming amino acids and the dietary minerals Magnesium and Zinc. 5-HTP is the precursor to serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for happiness. Because of this role in creating serotonin, 5-HTP is also indirectly involved in producing melatonin, a hormone that helps the body’s bio clock stay in sync and regulates daily sleep-wake cycles.