Many college students work in call centers and do night shifts so that they can attend college during the day. If you think that since many of you can manage doing night shifts and attend college it won’t affect your health, then you are wrong. According to a study, circadian disruption and cumulative sleep restriction can result in bone fracture and osteoporosis in men later in life. Working night shifts is more harmful for the health of men in the age group of 20 to 27.  The result of the study will be presented at the 99th annual meeting of Endocrine Society, which will be held in Orlando, Florida.(ALSO READ Knee joint pain exercise: 5 simple exercises to get rid of knee joint pain).

The study was conducted Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston in 2012 and included four men aged 55 to 65 and six aged 20 to 27. During the study, the participants slept four hours later than the previous day for a period of three weeks. The participants were sleeping only for 5.6 hours every 24 hours similar to night shift workers. They also had the same amount of nutrients and calories as shift workers during the course of the study. It was found that after three weeks, there are was a significant decrease in the levels of P1NP, a marker for bone formation, as compared to the baseline. In younger men, the decrease in P1NP was 27 percent and in older men, it was 18 percent. The amount of CTX, the bone resorption remained unchanged, which means that without the formation of the new bones older bones could break. (ALSO READ What is the cause of knee pain?).

The study concluded that the level of bone formation marker reduced in the blood of healthy men after three weeks of circadian disruption and cumulative sleep restriction similar to that observed in shift work or jet lag. The marker for bone resorption stayed unchanged. This change in the bone balance creates a window for potential bone loss, which could result in bone fracture and osteoporosis.(ALSO READ What is the cause of arthritis? These are the factors responsible for painful arthritis).

According to the lead investigator Christine Swanson from the University of Colorado in Aurora, sleep disruption may be most harmful for bone metabolism during the period when bone accrual and formation are important for long term health of the skeleton.

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