42% of student athletes are sleep deprived. Three in five students are clocking in less than 7 hours of sleep.
But, an average young adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, so where are those extra hours going?
Student athletes spend between 27 and 41 hours per week training and competing, so they need even more sleep to sustain their training and competition schedule. But, with everything else on their plates, sleep usually gets pushed to the backburner.
Sleep is an active state of rebuilding, repairing, and regeneration. Athletes desperately need sleep to repair their bodies and minds; it is crucial. What athletes can do in the training room will only go so far if they’re not giving their bodies time to recover. Lack of sleep will result in more injuries, increased time to recover, and muscle fatigue. Less sleep can therefore result in less time on the field.
There are also a lot of long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep could cause memory issues, trouble concentrating, and mess with your mood, primarily in the form of depression. Losing sleep could also weaken your immunity (which you definitely don’t want as an athlete), increase your blood pressure, cause weight gain, and put you at risk of heart disease and diabetes.
All of these effects, long- or short-term, will impact your athletic performance. So, make sure you’re not just another statistic. Get enough sleep.
Related: Measuring Sleep with Whoop