Most high school students do not get enough sleep. Schedule practices with the sleep patterns of adolescents in mind and address the importance of proper sleep in preparation for an evaluation or competition with players.

Sleep Requirements

  • Adolescents require 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep per night.
  • Only fifteen percent of adolescents get the required amount of sleep during the week; most sleep seven hours.
  • Deep sleep is critical to cognitive or motor skills, problem solving, and maintaining the immune system.

Daytime Sleepiness

  • Daytime sleepiness increases during puberty and can cause accidents/injuries and reduce attention spans.
  • Thirty minute naps are more restorative than longer ones.

Effects of a Sleep Deficit

  • A 30 to 36 hour deficit reduces cardiovascular performance by 11%.
  • Mental performance and information processing decreases twice as quickly as physical performance.
  • Minimal sleep deficits can result in fatigue or depression.

Creating a Sleep Extension

  • Elite collegiate basketball players who increase their amount of sleep can increase their performance on the court.
  • Ten hours of sleep during the season can increase speed and shooting accuracy (free throw and three-point shooting).
    • The effects of fatigue are reduced and energy level and perceived performance increase.
    • It is important to increase sleep habits over a long period of time and not just the night before a game.
    • Athletes in all sports can achieve improvements with extra sleep.

Sleep and Extra-curricular Activities

  • Teens who are extensively involved in school or community activities or work part time are at a greater risk of the effects of sleepiness than those who are less involved or work fewer hours.

Tips to Combat a Sleep Deficit

  • Establish a sleeping environment that is dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable.
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime:
    • Restrict adjustments in bedtime to thirty minutes daily.
    • Two consecutive nights can alter circadian rhythms.
  • Reduce caffeine consumption in the afternoon and evening.
  • Adolescents should not consume melatonin.

Sleep and Studying

  • It is important to get enough sleep before (to be alert) and after (to consolidate memory) learning.
  • All-nighters create a severe sleep deficit for several days.

Sleep and Mindfulness

  • Instead of tossing and turning, practicing mindfulness exercises can calm the mind, relax the body and help prepare for the next day.
  • Practices to develop mindfulness include a five to ten minute body scan, breathing exercises and focus on specific feelings and sensations.
  • Blue light from screens excites the brain and makes it difficult to fall asleep:
    • Unplug phones and charge them in a separate room.
    • Try reading or breathing exercises to settle you yourself.

    List of Resources

    • Mah, C. D., Mah, K. E., Kezirian, E. J., & Dement, W. C. (2011). The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players. 34 (7), 943-950.
    • National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Teens and Sleep. Retrieved May 25, 2005, from National Sleep Foundation:
    • Press, J. (2016). Warriors seek sleep advice to keep an edge. Retrieved 25 March 2016, from Warriors seek sleep advice to keep an edge
    • Underwood, J. (2010). Sleep: Now Clearly a Predictor of Performance. Coaches Plan , 17 (1), 31-4.

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