It’s well known that lack of sleep can cause cognitive and motor skills, but a new study presented at the recent American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans indicates that adolescent athletes who don’t get the required amount of sleep are actually at increased risk of getting injured.
Researchers studied 112 athlete, split almost evenly between males and females, from a private school. The students had an average age of 15. Number of sports played, time committed to athletics at school and outside of school during the past year, utilization of private coaches, strength training, average amount of sleep per night and subjective enjoyment of sports participation were included on the survey.
Their findings were startling. The athletes who slept at least 8 hours per night were 68% less likely to be injured, compared to those who slept more. Associations between injury history and gender, weeks of participation per school year, weekly hours of participation, number of sports, strength training, private coaching and assessment of “having fun in sports” were not significant.