Lack of Sleep Among Adolescent Athletes Is Associated With a Higher Prevalence of Self-Reported History of Anxiety and Depression

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

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Andrea StraccioliniDivision of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA, USA

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Caitlin M. McCrackenDivision of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA, USA

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William P. Meehan IIIDivision of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA, USA

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Matthew D. MilewskiDivision of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention, Waltham, MA, USA

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Purpose: To study mental health, sleep duration, and daytime sleepiness in young athletes. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted. The main outcome measures included sleep duration and daytime sleepiness. Results: Study participants included 756 athletes with a mean age of 13.5 years. A total of 39% (n = 296/756) reported not meeting current sleep recommendations for age. Athletes >12 years and with a self-reported anxiety and/or depression history were less likely to meet sleep recommendations and showed higher daytime sleepiness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.2, 1.4], β [SE] = 3.06 [0.74], respectively). Athletes with goal-oriented reasons for playing versus enjoyment (52% vs. 35%, aOR = 1.70, 95% CI [1.12, 2.58]) were less likely to meet sleep recommendations. Night time internet access and weeknight homework hours were negatively associated with sleep recommendations (aOR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.68, 2.47] and aOR = 3.11, 95% CI [1.82, 5.3]) and positively associated with daytime sleepiness (β [SE] = 1.44 [0.45] and 2.28 [0.59]). Conclusions: Many young athletes are not meeting sleep recommendations. Associated factors include mental health, reasons for play, internet access, and homework demand.

Stracciolini (Andrea.stracciolini@childrens.harvard.edu) is corresponding author.

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