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Disturbed Sleep for prolonged period of time can result in reduced bone formation

Apr 11, 2017

Disturbed Sleep for prolonged period of time can result in reduced bone formation

Constant inadequate sleep, which is the most widespread problem that has been associated to chronic disease risk, may also be an unknown risk element for bone loss. The outcomes of a novel research study will be exhibited on Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando.

The researchers from the study determined that healthy men had decreased levels of a marker of bone formation in their blood post three weeks of circadian disruption and collective sleep restriction, like the ones seen of round the clock shift work or jet lag, whilst a biological marker of bone resorption, or breakdown, was not altered.

Christine Swanson, M.D., an assistant professor at the University of Colorado in Aurora, Colo., and the key investigator said, "This altered bone balance creates a potential bone loss window that could lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures."

She further said, "If chronic sleep disturbance is identified as a new risk factor for osteoporosis, it could help explain why there is no clear cause for osteoporosis in the approximately 50 percent of the estimated 54 million Americans with low bone mass or osteoporosis.”

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report says that prevailing insufficient sleep is also having a health impact on more than 25 percent of the United States population intermittently and 10 percent frequently.

Swanson’s joint authors carried out a larger study in 2012 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, of which the 10 men in this study were a part of. The study assessed the health effects of restricted sleep in combination with circadian disruption. For this, Swanson determined circadian disruptions as "a mismatch between your internal body clock and the environment caused by living on a shorter or longer day than 24 hours."

The Trial

Volunteer subjects were put up in a lab, wherein for three weeks went to bed four hours later than the previous days, leading to a 28 hour day. Swanson compared this alteration to flying overseas almost four time zones every day for three weeks.

The subjects were permitted to sleep only for 5.6 hours in every 24 hour limit. During the day, all the men consumed same amounts of nutrients and calories through the entire course of the study. For measuring the bone biomarkers, blood samples were collected from the subjects at the beginning and post three weeks of sleep change.

Out of the 10 men, four were from 55 to 65 years of age and six were from 20 to 27 years of age. As of now, restricted funding precluded the serum examination from the women; however the research group strategizes to probe sex differences in the sleep-bone relationship in consequent studies.

The blood serum reports stated that post three weeks of examining; all men had substantially reduced levels of a bone formation marker known as P1NP as compared with the blood samples taken at the beginning.

Also, the reduced levels were higher for the younger men as compared to the older ones. Swanson concluded saying, "These data suggest that sleep disruption may be most detrimental to bone metabolism earlier in life, when bone growth and accrual are crucial for long-term skeletal health."

She believes further studies are required to affirm these results and to discover if at all there are any differences in women.

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