Sleep…the hidden elixir of life and performance?

There have been years of countless articles touting the benefits of getting enough sleep. But along with those informational articles are plenty of questions that arise: Should I get 7 hours or 9 hours of sleep? Do I sacrifice an hour of sleep to get in an extra hour of training or exercise? Will getting enough sleep keep me healthy and from getting injured?

Well…it depends (my students love when I say that because I answer their questions with that phrase…a lot!)

But a recent article from dear friend and grad school buddy, Dr. Devon Dobrosielski, and colleagues at Towson University tackled the injury prevention issue when it comes to sleep. “The Association Between Poor Sleep and the Incidence of Sport and Physical-Training Related Injuries in Adult Atheltic Populations: A systematic review”¬†found that despite the importance of sleep as is recommended by sports medicine professionals (yours truly included), there is no conclusive evidence that getting poor sleep will put you at risk for injury.¬† Devon the mythbuster!!!

So while this article boils down the research to understandable bits (thank you Devon for taking over 1,600 articles and working it down to a manageable 12 to have been reviewed), please keep in mind that this systematic review only is speaking to injury incidence in an athletic adult population. It may be different for adolescence, or the elderly, or those with chronic diseases. The challenge about reading research is that some things are taken out of context and then are blown up and put into newspaper headlines. And are read as the Gospel!

So read Devon and the team’s article and make your own assessment of how sleep fits into your life.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear about sleep from me. But for now….good night.

Bobo - sleep title page