Project Description Narrative:
Osteoporosis is a leading cause of disability, loss of independence, and premature death. A newly recognized risk factor for osteoporosis is chronic sleep deficiency.
The knowledge gap is the unknown biology of chronic sleep disruption and/or deficiency in mature bones that explains the risk identified in epidemiological outcomes. Such knowledge could be leveraged to improve bone health by several means—awareness, altering environmental exposure, and changing practices—to decrease the dire consequences of bone disease.
This project aims to provide the biological basis for epidemiological findings that associate chronic sleep deficiency with abnormal bone health in adulthood.
The outcomes will eventually provide the means of transforming public opinion about sleep deficiency in the same way that understanding of other biological and environmental exposures—poor nutrition, lack of exercise, comorbidities—are now well-established.
Outcomes of the proposed studies, and those planned for future extramural funding, will provide much-needed 1) evidence that chronic sleep restriction affects bone health of older adults; 2) biological explanations for epidemiological findings; 3) identification of sexual dimorphic parameters; and 4) elucidation of candidate mechanisms for comparative and translational research.