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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  • 1 Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  • | 2 Department of Orthopedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • | 3 Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  • | 4 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • | 5 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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