Just last year rats were used in a study, which had its findings published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Sleep-deprived rats had a decreased bone mineral density, which in humans would indicate osteoporosis. Also, the rats that didn’t get enough sleep had less fat in their bone marrow, and double the amount of megakaryocytes (bone marrow cells that produce platelets), compared to the well-rested rats.
Those factors together demonstrate that sleep deprivation affects bone metabolism, and bone marrow composition, creating consequences on bone development, aging, healing, repair, and blood differentiation.
Scientists are even looking at sleep apnea as a possible cause of osteoporosis. Experts note in a recently published issue of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research that the sleep disorder’s effects on sleep duration and quality, oxygen levels, inflammation, and other health factors may also impact bone metabolism.
If sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea affect bone metabolism, they may have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for many patients, including those affected by sleep apnea in their early, bone modeling years,” further explains lead author Dr. Christine Swanson.
The findings can help scientists understand the impact of skipping out on sleep and the inability of humans to repair bone damage as we age. Sleep is restorative for mind, body and soul. It is important not only for children as their bones are forming, but also for seniors as their bones weaken. Get started on protecting your health tonight!