The school year has been officially in full swing for months. And for students of all ages, it typically means full schedules of homework, time with friends and family, and extracurricular activities.
Does your active child loves to participate in after-school sports?
There are likely all sorts of things your family already does to help your child perform at their best. Eating well, exercising, and practicing are all important steps in helping your student athlete reach their goals.
But while you are boosting, assisting, and supporting your active child, never forget the importance of sleep!
Sleep is essential for kids and teenagers of all ages, but it’s especially important for active kids who participate in sports. Here’s a closer look as to the reasons why. In addition, you’ll find what you can do to help your young athlete get all the rest they need.
Sleep is when our bodies regenerate, repair, and restore cells. And this is especially true for children and teenagers who are still growing both physically and mentally. Getting ample sleep essentially helps student athletes with all aspects of their performance on game day. From response time and cognitive functions, to their energy levels and muscle growth, sleep is the key.
In addition, ample sleep can also help improve those targeted skills that are specific to a particular sport or activity.
For example, sleep can help increase shooting accuracy for basketball fans, or the accuracy of serves for avid tennis players. This is all combined with an increase in stamina, both physically and mentally, that will stay with a young athlete throughout the game.
It’s generally recommended that teenagers get at least eight hours of sleep every night, but active kids may want to extend this number even further.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that student athletes obtain up to 10 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis to achieve their active goals.
Note that this number is even higher for kids under 13, who should sleep an average of 9-11 hours of night, regardless of their extracurricular activities.
Start by enlisting a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends, to help kids get into a regular and prolonged sleeping routine.
Have a “no electronics in bed” rule, as screens of all varieties can both cause distractions before bed, and can interrupt a person’s natural circadian rhythms.
It’s also essential to help your child manage any stress or anxiety about school sports, or any other part of their day. Listen to their concerns, and help create a relaxed sleep environment where it’s easy to forget about the cares of the day, and simply drift off to sweet dreams.
Sleep is essential for kids with all interests, but for student athletes, it can actually improve their game! So ensure your budding all-star is getting ample rest on a routine basis to maximize their performance on the field, as well as throughout the day.
If you notice that your child seems tired all day everyday, there could be a sleeping disorder. In a recent post we talk about OSA and ADHD in children. No one is too young to have sleep apnea, so it is important to talk to your child’s doctor and a sleep specialist.
Contact us to see how we can help.