Compared with women in a recent study who slept 7 to 8 hours each night, women who slept for approximately 5 hours or 10 hours had about a 25%  increased odds of experiencing recurrent falls, researchers suggest.

A study published recently in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research suggests that poor sleep quality, insomnia, and more sleep disturbances were also associated with an increased odds of recurrent falls.

Short sleep was associated with an increased risk of all fractures, and upper limb, lower limb, and central body fractures, but not with an increased risk of hip fractures, explains a media release from Wiley.

The analysis included 157,306 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, with an average follow-up time of 7.6 years for falls and 12.0 years for fractures. The annualized rate of recurrent fall events was 10.6% among women reporting approximately 5 hours of sleep per night, 7.0% among women sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night, and 11.8% among women sleeping  approximately 10 hours per night.

“Falls are an important public health problem among older adults and lead to moderate to severe injuries. Most fractures occur because of falls, and recent evidence shows that mortality from falls in the US is increasing,” says lead author Dr Jane Cauley, of the University of Pittsburgh, in the release. “Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, our paper focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep. Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls.”

[Source(s): Wiley, EurekAlert]