Lack of sleep tied to teen sports injuries

Adolescent athletes who slept eight or more hours each night were 68 percent less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less, according to an abstract presented Sunday, Oct. 21, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

For the abstract, "Lack of Sleep is Associated with Increased Risk of Injury in Adolescent Athletes," researchers asked middle and high (grades 7 to 12) enrolled at the Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Calif., to answer questions about the number of sports they played and the time they committed to athletics (at school and through other programs), whether they used a private coach, whether they participated in strength training, how much sleep they got on average each night, and how much they subjectively enjoyed their athletic participation. Seventy percent of the (112 out of 160 students; 54 males and 58 females; mean age 15) completed the survey, conducted in conjunction with Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Researchers then reviewed those students' school records pertaining to reported .

Hours of sleep per night was significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of injury, according to the study results. In addition, the higher the grade level of the athlete, the greater the likelihood of injury – 2.3 times greater for each additional grade in school. Gender, weeks of participating in sports per year, hours of participation per week, number of sports, , private coaching and subjective assessments of "having fun in sports" were not significantly associated with injury.

"While other studies have shown that can affect and fine motor skills, nobody has really looked at this subject in terms of the adolescent athletic population," said study author Matthew Milewski, MD.

"When we started this study, we thought the amount of sports played, year-round play, and increased specialization in sports would be much more important for injury risk," said Dr. Milewski. Instead, "what we found is that the two most important facts were hours of sleep and grade in school."

The advanced age risk may reflect a cumulative risk for injury after playing three or four years at the high school level, Milewski said, and older are bigger, faster and stronger.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Knee injuries on the rise in child and adolescent athletes

Oct 16, 2011

Sports-related knee injuries in children and adolescents seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia noted a more than 400 percent increase in these injuries at their ...

Recommended for you

Brain abnormality found in group of SIDS cases

19 hours ago

More than 40 percent of infants in a group who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) were found to have an abnormality in a key part of the brain, researchers report. The abnormality affects the hippocampus, ...

Eczema cases rising among US children

Nov 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—A growing number of children are being diagnosed with the allergic skin condition eczema—but it can usually be eased with topical treatments, according to a new report.

Adult-sized ATVs deadly for kids, report shows

Nov 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—Santa might think twice about giving kids an all-terrain vehicle this year. Riding ATVs poses high risks of injury or death for children and teens, with dangers differing by age, a new U.S. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.