Osteoporosis (OP) is of course a well-known hazard for women as they age, since OP is associated with a much higher risk of suffering a fracture, nearly always a result of a fall, and fractures of any kind raise the risk of all sorts of other health problems including a life of chronic pain, disability, depression, as well as premature death.
(What’s not as well appreciated, by the way, is that OP is also a substantial health risk (for all the same reasons as in women) to many aging men, although OP does affect a much larger proportion of women than it does of men.
So anything that can slow down bone loss is welcome news and what’s even more welcome about the news from a recent study of over 10,000 post-menopausal women is that the weapon to slow OP in this finding is a comfortable habit to adopt, namely sleeping more.
In this study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, the researchers found that women who slept 5 or fewer hours a night had a significantly higher risk of low bone mass, especially at the hip, than women who managed to get 7 or more hours sleep a night.
Now it could just be that women who sleep 7 or more hours a night are doing other things that help preserve bone mass such as exercising more and eating better, although as usual, the researchers claim they can discount these factors in their analysis.
But whatever the connection, you can now add “healthier bone mass” to the huge collection of health factors that are linked to getting adequate sleep, although it’s not easy of course to correct the problem of not getting enough sleep at night.
And guys, although this study was done on women, there is really no reason to believe it would be much different for men.