Chronic Sleep Deprivation hurts Bone Health

credit: National Cancer Institute Janet Stephens (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study of rats found that bone and marrow abnormalities were present in rodents who lacked sleep on a long-term basis. The researchers found abnormal blood serum levels that measure bone metabolism in the rats lacking in sleep. The study was reported in the September 2012 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin investigated further by directly measuring bone parameters in rats that had been sleep deprived for much of their young adulthood.

The scientists found a remarkable disparity between the bone apposition and reabsorption. The chronically sleep deprived rats had a halt in bone formation without reduced absorption. The red bone marrow was deeply reduced while the platelet-generating cells were doubled in number. The researchers said this suggests marrow plasticity.

Lead author Carol Everson, Ph.D., professor of neurology, cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy said, "If the same processes are evoked in humans, the potential medical implications are far-reaching and may include poor repair of microdamage from activities of daily living, introduction of osteoporotic processes, and changes to progenitor cells that may affect disease predisposition and disease resistance."

If the same holds true in humans, not getting enough sleep could lead to osteoporosis, or thinning bones.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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