When you are making a list of necessities to help your young athlete succeed, good sleep should top the list.
Sleep is essential to good physical and mental health in people of all ages. But in addition to that, a good night’s sleep improves your young athlete’s overall performance. Sleep reduces stress levels, improves focus, and keeps your child energized throughout their performance.
Sleep is also critical for healthy muscle development and proper growth in children and adolescents. Another important benefit of good sleep? Your child’s chances of incurring injury during a performance are reduced. According to the National Sleep Foundation, young athletes who get less than 8 hours of sleep are 1.7 times more likely to get injured than children who receive adequate sleep each night.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following tips to ensure your young athlete gets plenty of rest.
- Develop a pre-bedtime routine and stick to it. Give your child time to wind down in the evening after a game or about an hour before bedtime. Encourage relaxing activities like reading and cut out caffeine consumption during evening hours.
- Encourage them to do homework on the road. This will prevent late nights spent on math equations instead of sleep.
- Encourage naps in the car when no homework is involved. Keep a pillow and blanket to help your child get more comfortable and better rest as a result.
Is your young athlete in good physical health and getting plenty of rest? If it’s been a while since your athlete’s last physical exam or if you are concerned about the amount of rest they are getting, contact EliteCare to schedule an appointment.