Lack of Sleep

Many schools are starting to see the affects a lack of sleep is starting to have on their students, and even more so the student-athletes.  There is shown to be an increase in risk of injuries and a decrease in academic performance.

05_Flatbed_1 - NOVEMBER   Original Filename: 78019398.jpg“While other studies have shown that lack of sleep can affect cognitive skills and fine motor skills, nobody has really looked at this subject in terms of the adolescent athletic population,” study author Dr. Matthew Milewski said in an AAP news release.

While at sleep, the brain is busy repairing itself from the energy exerted since the last time you slept.  College is stressful enough on the brain and the body for regular students; a lack of sleep is even more harmful for student-athletes.  For college athletes, it is important to get sleep to repair the brain, but also to repair muscles from workouts.

Student-athletes are expected to perform at their perk every single day.  This is impossible when an individual is sleep deprived.  I know many student-athletes who pull a few all-nighters during the semester to be able to get their homework done.

Another study done by researcher Cheri Mah, at Standford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory “has shown that basketball players at the elite college level were able to improve their on-the-court performance by increasing their amount of total sleep time.” “We had been investigating the effects of sleep extension on cognitive performance and mood, but I was now curious if sleep extension may also impact physical performance,” she said.

For more information check out the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases on children and sports.

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