How important is sleep for adolescent rowers?

Multiple research papers describe an increased risk of both injury and illness with reduced sleep hours in adolescent athletes

  • injury rate increased 1.4 times if less than 8 hours sleep 
  • less than 5 hours of sleep meant athletes were 4.5 times more likely to have an infection than those sleeping more than 7 hours
  • more than 8 hrs sleep reduced odds of injury by 61%
  • recurrent illness should trigger a suspicion of poor sleep

To improve sleep, adolescent rowers should consider

  • Keeping a regular sleep schedule, with a consistent go-to-bed time
  • Have a sleep friendly bedroom – cool & dark
  • Avoid screens before bedtime – for at least 60 minutes
  • Have a mental strategy for relaxation before bed – consider a meditation app such as Smiling mind, Headspace or Buddify
  • Consider a daytime nap of no more than 45 minutes, before 4pm (1600)

Milewski J Paediat Ortho 2014
Van Rosen Scand J Med Sci Sports 2017
Prother Sleep 2015
Halson  J Sci Med Sport  2017