Adolescents who dont get enough sleep might be jeopardizing their athletic performance, and high school sports teams on the west coast may be at a disadvantage if they play east coast rivals, says Mary Carskadon, PhD, of the Bradley Hasbro Childrens Research Center.
Carskadon, a leader in the field of sleep research, compared the results of studies that measured sleep patterns and circadian rhythms in children and adolescents in the May 24 issue of Clinics in Sports Medicine. While its widely known that lack of sleep can affect learning, mood and behavior in teenagers, Carskadon suggests that insufficient sleep can also negatively impact teen athletes in a number of ways. "Young people live in nearly a constant state of chronic insufficient sleep," says Carskadon, "and adolescents who dont get enough sleep on a regular basis are extremely impaired in the morning."
For this reason, she suggests that adolescent travel teams heading westward across time zones have an advantage over home teams early in the day. While most adults who routinely travel from coast to coast might be well aware of the difficulty adjusting to a different time zone, teens are at even more of a disadvantage.
Carol L. Hoy | EurekAlert!
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