Apr 19, 2019 | Updated: 09:17 PM EDT

Insufficient Sleep Leads To Osteoporosis, Bone Fractures In 27 Million Americans

Apr 04, 2017 01:44 AM EDT

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An estimated 54 million Americans are suffering from osteoporosis and 50 percent of them can be attributed to insufficient sleep.
(Photo : Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Insufficient sleep leads to potential osteoporosis and bone fractures. A cumulative three weeks of sleep restriction and circadian disruption results to reduced levels of marker bone formation in the blood. This effect is similar to that of a jet lag and those who does shift work.

According to lead researcher Christine Swanson, osteoporosis is becoming prevalent. An estimated 54 million Americans are suffering from weak bones but 50 percent of them have no clear cause. Swanson's insufficient sleep research may lead to an explanation for these cases. However, the research is yet to be presented at the 99th annual meeting of Endocrine Society which is to be held in Orlando, Florida.

Subjects who are all men slept for four hours a day, during Swanson's tests. They also slept later than the prior day, making each day a 28-hour basis for the "internal body clock." In a sense, it is similar to a person flying in four different time zones for three weeks straight. While being subjected to insufficient sleep, these men ate the same amount of nutrients and calories that they regularly do.

Before the test was conducted, Swanson took their blood samples at baseline. However, there is a significant loss of bone formation marker called P1NP after an insufficient sleep of three weeks. The decline was also significant in younger men who manifest 27 percent loss while older men have 18 percent loss. An extensive discussion about P1NP can be found at the government site PubMed.

Lastly, Swanson concluded that insufficient sleep can lead to old bones breaking down at high tendency. Since insufficient sleep restricts the formation of new bones, the regenerative capability of the bone is also at risk. Swanson also concluded that insufficient sleep is very important for healthy bone metabolism.

Meanwhile, the study was restricted to men and the impact of insufficient sleep among women is yet to be researched. Swanson also admits that there is a need for further funding and confirmation of their tests. There are two funding entities for the study but the proponents are looking for more support after the Orlando event.

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