Getting too little sleep is linked with a higher risk of having low bone mineral density (BMD) and developing osteoporosis, researchers have warned.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone weakening increases the risk of a broken bone.
"Our study suggests that sleep may negatively impact bone health, adding to the list of the negative health impacts of poor sleep," said the study lead author Heather Ochs-Balcom, from the University at Buffalo in the US.
In the study of 11,084 postmenopausal women, those who reported sleeping five hours or less per night had lower BMD at all four sites assessed -- whole body, total hip, neck, and spine -- compared with women who reported sleeping seven hours per night.
After adjustments, women reporting five hours or less per night had 22 per cent and 63 per cent higher risks of experiencing low bone mass and osteoporosis of the hip, respectively.
Similar results were seen with the spine.
"I hope that it can also serve as a reminder to strive for the recommended seven or more hours of sleep per night for our physical and mental health," Ochs-Balcom said.
The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.