Sleep length can be associated with an increased risk of fractures, a recent study has suggested. According to the findings of the research, compared with women who slept seven to eight hours each night, women who slept for 5 hours or 10 hours had about 25 per cent increased odds of experiencing recurrent falls.
Short sleep was associated with an increased risk of all fractures, and upper limb, lower limb, and central body fractures, but not with an increased risk of hip fractures. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
The analysis included 157,306 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, with an average follow-up time of 7.6 years for falls and 12.0 years for fractures. The annualized rate of recurrent fall events was 10.6 per cent among women reporting 5 hours of sleep per night, 7.0 per cent among women sleeping seven to eight hours per night, and 11.8 per cent among women sleeping 10 hours per night.
“Falls are an important public health problem among older adults and lead to moderate to severe injuries. Most fractures occur because of falls, and recent evidence shows that mortality from falls in the US is increasing,” said Dr Jane Cauley, lead author of the study.
“Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, our paper focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep. Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls,” he explained.