The health and integrity of our bones require more than a healthy diet and daily vitamins and minerals. As we age, paying attention to our bone health becomes increasingly important, and sleep plays a large part in this throughout our lives.
Various aspects are considered regarding our bone health, and our sleep schedules can easily affect bone density. This article will review the impact of sleep on bone health and why understanding their correlation is so important.
How Sleep Can Affect Our Bone Health
The amount of sleep we get does more than affect the strength of our bones; it can hinder the formation of new bones quite a bit. A lack of sleep can also decrease the amount of fat in the bone marrow and minimize our bones’ density. These correlations between sleep and bone health mean we could experience less flexibility and weaker bones in the long run (1).
As we age, melatonin has a harder time being produced in the body, and considering it’s the sleep hormone; this could have a negative effect on bone health. This is partly why many elderly people encounter osteoporosis, as it becomes more challenging to manage bone health as we age.
The stiffness we feel in our bones is partly due to a lack of melatonin and a lack of quality sleep. Unfortunately, getting the right amount of sleep can become much more difficult as we age, which is bound to affect our bone health. The Hiroshima Sleep and Healthcare study determined that one of the biggest factors for bone stiffness came from sleep disturbances, yet didn’t pertain much to bedtime or the amount of time spent in bed (2).
Correlations Between Sleep Disorders and Bone Health
Your bone health can be affected by more than just a poor sleep schedule, as there are numerous sleeping disorders out there that can be just as damaging, if not more. Sleep apnea is a disorder that interrupts breathing periodically during sleep, which is guaranteed to put a dent in the quality and duration of sleep. Due to this, your bone health will suffer from metabolic, cardiovascular, inflammatory, and hormonal issues associated with sleep apnea (3). These particular issues may be more associated with older individuals, but younger age groups can encounter many of the same health complications.
Insomnia is another pretty common sleep disorder. It can greatly affect our sleep schedules, making it harder for the body to regenerate and heal as needed on a nightly basis. For some, restless leg syndrome is enough to make it challenging to fall asleep in the first place, as you feel like you constantly need to move your legs to alleviate discomfort. All of these various sleep disorders can lead to complications with bone health from multiple angles, whether it’s stiffness, mass, or strength.
Ensuring Your Bones Remain Healthy
Regarding the effects sleep has on our bone health, the best way to make sure your bones stay in the best shape possible is by focusing on a successful sleep schedule. Proper sleep in conjunction with a proper diet is a recipe for success when it comes to the overall health of your bones. This can be more complicated for some individuals who struggle with sleep disorders, but there’s plenty you can do to get your mind and body ready for a sufficient amount of sleep.
Many of us disregard the fact that our daily actions are part of what makes sleeping so difficult, and nightly rituals are a great way to combat these contradictory habits. Avoiding blue light in the evening is always advised, and avoiding late-night meals is important to avoid unwanted physical discomfort.
Some people may consider over-the-counter or prescription medications, but they may offer unwanted side effects. This is why many people rely on the natural solution of dietary supplements to help support better sleep. * No matter which method you choose, you don’t have to accept a lack of sleep as a part of your everyday life. Moreover, these small efforts will positively affect your bones’ health as you age.
- Build Up Your Bones with a Good Night’s Rest
- Impact of sleep on osteoporosis: sleep quality is associated with bone stiffness index
- Obstructive sleep apnea and metabolic bone disease: Insights into the relationship between bone and sleep
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