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Do Student Athletes Need Extra Sleep?

By National Sleep Foundation, 03/19/19, 12:00PM CDT

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Besides improving physical energy and mental stamina during practices and games, sleep can improve skills specific to various activities.

When it comes to training for sports, many student-athletes and their parents recognize the importance of eating well and exercising consistently. But sleep is often overlooked as a factor that can affect a child’s performance and recovery. That’s unfortunate because getting enough quality slumber is critical for a young athlete’s energy, coordination, muscle growth, recovery, and repair, mental focus, ability to manage stress, and academic performance. After all, contrary to common perception, sleep isn’t a passive activity; it’s an active state that leads to repair, recovery, and regeneration for a young athlete’s body and mind. 

How Much Is Enough?

While the basic recommendation is for teenagers to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, getting more sleep—say, 10 hours per night—on a regular basis can help those pursuing sports goals to reach their peak athletic performance.