The findings, published in the journalExperimental Biology and Medicine, showed that sleep-deprived rats had decreased bone mineral density — which researchers said in the study indicated osteoporosis. The rats also had less fat in their bone marrow than fully-rested rats, as well as double the amount of megakaryocytes, which are bone marrow cells that produce platelets.
“Taken together, these findings suggest that chronically inadequate sleep affects bone metabolism and bone marrow composition in ways that have implications for development, aging, bone healing and repair, and blood cell differentiation,” the researchers wrote in the study.
“If true in humans, and I expect that it may be, this work will have great impact on our understanding of the impact of sleep deprivation on osteoporosis and inability to repair bone damage as we age,” the editor-in-chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine Dr. Steven R. Goodman said in a statement.
Sleep’s not the only thing that could affect bone health — the foods you consume can also make a big difference.
Editor: To learn more about the economic value of good sleep or how it affects your health and productivity, check out our other articles on sleep.