Kids that play hard, need to sleep hard!

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Kids soccer warm-up
Article by Antonietta Del Pinto

  • Are your mini athletes getting enough sleep each night?
  • Are your kids getting fatigued whilst playing sport?

We see lots of children and adolescents in the clinic with all manner of aches, pain and injuries. When asked about sleep patterns, it would seem that many are not getting enough shut eye!

So, how much sleep is enough? And what are the risks of not getting enough sleep?

There is clear research that shows that the risk of injury increases if you are not recovering from bouts of activity with appropriate sleep combined with good nutrition. Consistently good sleep partnered with nutritious food intake can help your children perform at your best. This may not sound surprising to many; but are your children actually getting enough sleep?

A 2016 study of adolescent athletes showed that getting more than 8 hours of sleep significantly reduced the risk of injury by 61%. A further study in 2014, showed that adolescents who received less than 8 hours of sleep a night were 1.7 times more likely to sustain an injury compared to those receiving 8 or more hours of sleep a night.

The message here is simple – children and adolescents need to be consistently getting 8 hours or more of sleep a night to ensure they are playing their best and minimising any risk of injury.

If your children do have any niggling injuries, sleep is not the only factor to consider. Our physios are well equipped to assess and treat any aches or pains that your children may be experiencing.

von Rosen, P. et al. (2016), Too little sleep and an unhealthy diet could increase the risk of sustaining a new injury in adolescent elite athletes. Scand J Med Sci Sports. doi:10.1111/sms.12735

Milewski et al. (2014). Chronic lack of sleep is associated with increase sports injuries in adolescent athletes. J Pediatr Orthop. 34(2); 129-33.

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