SoccerAmerica: Teenagers, get good sleep! It has a major effect on athletic performance

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21 Feb SoccerAmerica: Teenagers, get good sleep! It has a major effect on athletic performance

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in SoccerAmerica’s YouthSoccerInsider. It is written by Dev Mishra, the CEO of Sideline Sports Doc, a Players First partner. 

A majority of teenagers get an insufficient amount of sleep. This poses a challenge for youth athletes, as sleep schedules play a crucial role in athletic performance.

A 2015 study found that the time you usually awaken can play a great role in successful physical performance. Researchers studied the sleep patterns of young adult field hockey and squash players, through diary entries and surveys.

Cardiovascular fitness tests, conducted six times per day, showed that the early rising players performed best around noon, late risers were best in the evening, and those in-between (the intermediates) in the late afternoon.

However, when the scientists began tracking the players using their internal biological clock instead of real time, they found that the early risers and intermediates both reached their top performance around six hours after rising. The late risers would not reach this peak until approximately 11 hours after waking.

This implies that if you want to hit your physical maximum, it is imperative to pay attention to your natural sleep cycle. The most important aspect is not the time of day when an event occurs, but how much time you need to reach your peak after starting your day.

Read the entire article here. 

In US Club Soccer’s recent “Putting Players First in Injury Management” webinar, Player Health & Safety experts discussed many subtopics involving injury prevention and management for youth athletes, including healthy sleep and recovery patterns. On the topic, some of the panelists contributed points that support those of YouthSoccerInsider’s article. Fit for 90 CEO John Cone commented:

“Kids sleep in different patterns. Adolescent athletes will typically go to bed later and wake up later than younger athletes. Sleep is key driver of growth hormone release, drives more than just our recovery for exercise.”

11+ creator, Holly Silvers-Granelli, added:

“When discussing sleep and recovery cycles, we have to take into consideration the needs of these growing kids, and where they are in their physiological development.”


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