It is generally accepted that a healthy amount of sleep enhances brain function. But a new study, conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), found that teen sports injuries are linked to lack of sleep.
When your body sleeps, it gives your muscles and ligaments a chance to relax, heal, and ready themselves for more training, which in turn reduces the likelihood of sports-related injuries. Deep sleep also encourages a proper balance in hormone levels, which can reduce natural clumsiness brought on during puberty. (One way to sleep well, is to eat well!)
Specifically, high school athletes who sleep longer at night benefit in many areas, most noticeably by reducing their risk of sustaining an injury during practice or a game. This study is especially important for juniors and seniors who plan to play at the collegiate level, since injury rates increase as students age and sports become more aggressive.
To keep injuries from impacting your studies, games, and athletic career, nab those extra minutes of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends nine and a quarter hours of sleep every night.
(For more information on the subject, read: Secrets for Better, Muscle-Building Sleep.)