Getting too little sleep was linked with a higher risk of having low bone mineral density and developing osteoporosis, as reported in a recent Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study of postmenopausal women.
In the study of 11,084 postmenopausal women, those who reported sleeping 5 hours or less per night had lower bone mineral density at all 4 sites assessed—whole body, total hip, neck, and spine—compared with women who reported sleeping 7 hours per night. After adjustments, women reporting 5 hours or less per night had 22% and 63% higher risks of experiencing low bone mass and osteoporosis of the hip, respectively. Similar results were seen with the spine.

“Our study suggests that sleep may negatively impact bone health, adding to the list of the negative health impacts of poor sleep. I hope that it can also serve as a reminder to strive for the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep per night for our physical and mental health,” says lead author Heather Ochs-Balcom, PhD, of the University at Buffalo, in a release.