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Sleepless young athletes risk injury study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Last updated: Monday 22nd October 2012

Teenage sportspeople who don’t get sufficient sleep are putting themselves at a higher risk of injury, according to the results of a study in California. A survey of 113 fifteen year olds (54 male, 58 female) looked at the sports played, training times and sleep duration. Their personal injury and recovery records were also analysed. It was found that those who slept for eight hours or more per night were 68% less likely to be injured compared to those who slept less.

The study underlines the vital need for sleep to rejuvenate the body after sports and prepare for exertion the following day.

"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. "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. Instead what we found is that the two most important facts were hours of sleep and grade in school."
The results of the investigation were reported at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in New Orleans.

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