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Get Your Sleep Before a Big Game

Higher injury risk is linked with less sleep in athletes.

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Sleep and injury risk for athletes

College athletes who skimp on sleep may be increasing their risk for injury, according to a small study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. Other studies show poorer performance, higher illness risk and impaired well-being in athletes.

Investigators reviewed injuries among 19 male basketball players during two consecutive seasons and collected well-being variables related to sleep, subjective well-being, training load, fatigue, soreness and sleep duration. Data analysis showed that shorter sleep time was associated with more injuries, independent of training load and subjective well-being.

The study appeared in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (2020; 8 [11]).

See also: More Sleep Leads to Better Performance


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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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