Youth hockey players have a lot on their plate. They have to get up, go to school, go to practice, and head to games a few times a week or so. Plus, they have chores at home, as well as exercise and athletic training to build strength. All of that, plus socializing with friends, doesn’t leave much time for getting enough rest.
So much activity and not enough rest can quickly lead to sleep deprivation, which, in turn, can lead to decreased success on the ice, as well as an increased risk of strain and injury. Plus, when a player is sleep deprived, he can potentially make the ice less safe for other players around him as well. For these reasons, it’s important to know the warning signs of sleep deprivation and to address the problem if any of the signs are spotted.
Being Slow or Difficult to Wake Up
Most parents have had to shake their children awake in the morning. Kids really hate getting up early, and they usually just want to go back to sleep.
While that’s common among young people, take notice if your child is especially difficult to wake up. Perhaps you have to call him multiple times before he hears you, or you shake him for quite awhile before he even starts to stir.
If you think that your child’s reluctance to wake might be a little more severe than normal, sleep deprivation could be the cause.
Something else to be on the lookout for is increased clumsiness. If your normally graceful child starts bumping into things or taking way more spills on the ice than he used to, sleep deprivation might just be the cause.
Of course, regardless of the signs you notice- these are just a couple of possibilities- there’s only one cure for sleep deprivation: getting enough sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it if you’re worried about sleep deprivation or think your child athlete might have it. After all, adequate sleep is only going to benefit your child.