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Not getting enough sleep could be bad for your bones study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Friday 21st September 2012

Research carried out at the Medical College of Wisconsin has found that rats that are regularly sleep deprived suffer from both bone and bone marrow issues that are directly related to lack of sleep.

The team that was led by Carol Everson observed rats and restricted their sleep during a period of their young adulthood. The results found that not only did the rats experience negative change in bone formation, but the cells that create platelets increased in number, changing the overall plasticity of the marrow. If the same processes carry over to humans it could affect disease predisposition and disease resistance. If the same processes triggered by sleep deprivation in rats are found in humans then our bones wouldn’t be able to handle everyday activities and we could become prone to new or different diseases. The research also found that due to lack of sleep the rats experienced an increase in blood cell production, which can lead to thrombosis – blood clotting.

The luxury of modern life comes with many stresses and distractions that keep us from sleeping. Televisions, phones and computers cause us to stay up longer than we should, meaning that we don't get enough sleep. This recent discovery could be very important as childhood is the period when bones grow the most and if children aren't getting enough sleep due to modern technology this could be affecting how their bones form, which could cause them problems in later life. More research will be carried out in the future to see if the same process could happen to humans.

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