Getting enough ZZZs may play a part in concussion testing

Athletes who didn't get enough sleep the night before undergoing baseline concussion testing didn't perform as well as expected, say researchers presenting their work today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.

"Our results indicate athletes sleeping less than 7 hours the night prior to baseline concussion testing did not do as well on 3 out of 4 ImPACT scores and showed more symptoms," said lead author, Jake McClure, MD from Vanderbilt University. "Because return-to-play decisions often hinge on the comparison of post-concussion to baseline concussion scores, our research indicates that healthcare providers should consider the sleep duration prior to baseline neurocognitive testing as a potential factor in assessing recovery."

Researchers reviewed 3,686 non-concussed athletes—2,371 male, 1,315 female, 3,305 high school and 381 college-aged individuals—with baseline symptom and ImPACT neurocognitive scores. Individuals were stratified into three groups based on self-reported sleep duration the night before testing: fewer than 7 hours, 7-9 hours and greater than 9 hours. Significant differences in Reaction Time, Verbal Memory and Visual Memory scores were all noted in the group sleeping less than 7 hours. However, Visual-motor (processing) Speed scores did not seem to be affected. Also, significant differences in the total number of reported symptoms were associated with sleeping fewer than 7 hours.

"Understanding factors which modify baseline testing, potentially including sleep, will continue to help lead to more accurate testing, which ultimately equips clinicians with the best judgment to avoid returning athletes to competition earlier than necessary," said McClure.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Age with optimism and live longer

date 5 minutes ago

It pays to look on the bright side as you get old: Flinders University psychologist Professor Mary Luszcz says that optimism – expressed as confidence about living for another decade – is proving to be ...

What effect does marijuana really have on weight gain?

date 4 hours ago

While cannabis alters the functions of neurobiological circuits controlling appetite, its effect on weight gain is complex since several factors appear to be involved, says Didier Jutras-Aswad, University ...

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.