Sleepy Athletes At Higher Risk Of Injuries


All throughout my high school years, I danced on my high school's dance team and for three other competitive dance teams through my organization called Pittsburgh Poison. I used to practice every day a week and most of the time multiple times per day. Every year right at the peak of my dance season where we are practicing a ton in preparation for very important dance competitions, I would always get injured. After waking up super early to go to school then going straight to multiple practices each night, an injury is bound to happen. Due to my lack of sleep and overuse of my tired muscles I would get injured.

According to Medpage Today , "Insufficient sleep -- defined by the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation as less than 8 hours per night among high school students -- is epidemic in this age group, Milewski said, pointing to a CDC study that found that about 68.9% of high school students were getting an inadequate amount of sleep."

To explore the possible connection between insufficient sleep and sports injury, the researchers surveyed student athletes from Harvard-Westlake School, a private school in Los Angeles that includes grades 7 through 12. The average age of 112 students who completed the online questionnaires -- 58 females and 54 males -- was 15, ranging from 12 to 18. The questionnaires included questions on the number of sports played, the time committed to sports both in and out of school, the use of private coaches or strength training, sleep, and enjoyment from athletic participation.The percentage of respondents who reported sleeping less than 8 hours per night was 76.7%. Over a 21-month period, 57% of the athletes sustained injuries that were recorded by athletic trainers at the school; 38% of all athletes suffered multiple injuries.

In another article by Science Daily , "Hours of sleep per night was significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of injury, according to the study results." 

In conclusion, young athletes should definitely be getting their sleep if they are very active with sports. I wish I took this into consideration when I was dancing all the time. I could have saved myself from many injuries.



The value of sleep has greatly been underappreciated with our younger generations. With sports specifically becoming much more competitive, starting at younger ages, it is vital that children and parents understand the value of sleep. If parents do not want to prevent their child from getting injured by making them get more sleep, maybe getting better grades will. According to the Associated Press, students who get adequate sleep tend on average to get better grades by a whole letter than kids who do not get adequate sleep. Everyone should not underestimate the value of sleep.


I know many people, some of whom are athletes, who regularly get less than 8 hours of sleep. I have always been someone who values sleep and sets out to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. However, I never saw a connection between lack of sleep and injuries in sports. It does make sense to me that the more rested someone is the less likely they would be to get injured. I don't think that it would cause a major injury, however. I believe that lack of sleep would increase minor injuries that last for a week or two, not major injuries that would require months of recovery. I believe these types of freak injuries occur regardless of how much sleep someone gets.

Sleep influences many different things. Your body is not fully working if you do not get the amount of sleep you may need. Some people's bodies don't need as much sleep as others, however sleep effects us in ways we may never know. We think if we do not get enough sleep that it only makes us tired. However, lack of sleep can also cause illness, our immune system being low and week muscles as shown in this blog. We always were told by our parents the more we sleep we get our muscles will grow. This article talks about that...

Have you realized that the more sleep you get the more alive your body feels?

According to this article, there is scientific research that shows that decreased sleep can be linked to reduced performance in sports. I think that maybe this study can also be reduced to injury. According to this study, glycogen and glucose is severely reduced in the body upon sleep deprivation, both enzymes important for athletic performance. The reason I think that this could be related some way to injury is because in many sports, proper technique often keeps an athlete from injury. When an athlete becomes lethargic, he or she will most likely not be preforming in the proper technique for the sport in order to conserve energy just to simply do the activity. In some sports, like basketball, if one does properly move and follow technique, he or she becomes more prone to injuries like ACL injuries. Does anyone else think reduced performance could be a third variable in this situation?

After reading your blog, it made me think back to all my injuries I sustained playing high school sports. My senior year, I tore my ACL in my left knee and my labrum in my right shoulder in two separate instances playing basketball. They were not fun times at all. Thinking back, I realized that I was always tired in high school each and every day. Sitting in a classroom from 8 to 2-30 every day after getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night most definitely were the causes for my brutal fatigue. MY injuries very well could have been a result of me being too tired to care about what was going on in practice or maybe caused me to lose focus as well. I do in fact agree with you that athletes, especially younger ones, need to get more sleep. Being tired can definitely cause athletes to doze off and lose attention during practice and games. A few more hours of sleep can quite possibly make your chances of getting hurt in athletics a lot lower.

I have heard before that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your cognitive ability (I found a study about it online if you're interested). I wonder if this impairment of cognitive ability (alertness, perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning) is a contributing factor to the increased amount of injuries among athletes who lack sleep. This about it, if you are doing strenuous activity that requires alertness and focus, aren't you more likely to get hurt if you lack those traits? Sports can be dangerous, and most of the time you need full focus in order to avoid injury as well.

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