Less Sleep Associated with Osteoporosis

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

A recent study published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, November 6, 2019 found shorter sleep duration is associated with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The study included 11,084 postmenopausal women who reported on the amount of time they slept nightly. Researchers found that women who slept five hours or less per night had lower bone mineral density compared to women who reported sleeping 7 hours per night. The bone mineral density measured was the whole body, total hip, femoral neck and spine.

In Ayurveda there is a close relationship between bone health and the vata dosha. Osteoporosis is one of the most common bone health problems. Recent studies show 55% of people over the age of 50 in the USA suffer from either low bone mass or osteoporosis. We enter our vata time of life after 50. Vata is the elements of ether (space) and air. It is movement...movement of thoughts. Sometimes, too much movement of thought! A vata imbalance can lead to a restless mind...anxiety, worry, replaying old stories, all which can contribute a sleepless night.

Simple lifestyle practices can have a profound and immediate impact on a vata imbalance and help you sleep. Vata is cold by nature, so stay warm, try to avoid becoming chilled. Vata is also active/movement. This refers to both physical and mental activity. Restless mind, always thinking. Always moving and always doing….clubs, social events, charity, biking, kayaking, skiing, exercise class….seems that every day there is a commitment. While it is good to be active and social, it is just as important to SLOW DOWN.


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Kirsten Erickson, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT200, RYT500, iRest® Yoga Nidra Level 1 Teacher, Yoga Wellness North