Everyone knows that getting enough rest is important for all people. However, it is especially important for athletes since they demand a lot from their bodies. And, it’s even more important for young athletes who, on top of all of the demands, are also growing each day.
What Happens When Athletes Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Not getting enough sleep can have a lot of serious, negative effects for young athletes. These include:
· Decreased energy levels
· Stunted growth
· Impaired muscle memory
· Increased difficulty recovering after an injury
· Impaired reaction time
· Impaired accuracy
· Increased risk of injury
Obviously, these problems are quite serious, which is why getting a full 9 to 10 hours of sleep each night is highly recommended for young people.
Other Sleep Tips
In addition to getting adequate amounts of sleep, young athletes also need quality sleep. Some tips to make sleep better and more high-quality include:
· Avoiding electronics an hour before bed
· Having a regular bedtime
· Sleeping in a quiet, dark room
· Avoiding caffeine intake before bed
· Avoiding large meals before bed
· Developing a pre-bedtime relaxation routine for deeper sleep
The last tip in the above list deals with pre-bedtime routines. And, while this might not be for everyone, it can work wonders for others, especially for children who tend to have a harder time falling asleep.
A pre-bedtime routine can be anything that helps a child relax. It might be doing a little yoga, reading a story, and then having a glass of warm milk. Or, it might just be taking a hot bath.
Whatever the routine looks like, it’s a great way to signal to the body that it’s time for rest and to get deeper, better sleep as a result.
Whether you develop a routine or not, keeping these tips in mind and placing emphasis on sleep will help to create a stronger, healthier, and all around better young athlete.