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Arch Pediatr. 2014 Jul;21(7):722-6. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2014.04.016. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

[Sleep and academic performance in young elite athletes].

[Article in French]

Author information

1
Service des examens de la fonction respiratoire et de l'aptitude à l'exercice, CHU de Nancy, rue du Morvan, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France; Antenne médicale de prévention du dopage de Lorraine, CHU de Nancy, rue du Morvan, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France. Electronic address: m.poussel@chu-nancy.fr.
2
Direction régionale de la jeunesse, des sports et de la cohésion sociale de Lorraine, 4, rue Bénit, CO n(o) 10011, 54035 Nancy cedex, France.
3
Service des examens de la fonction respiratoire et de l'aptitude à l'exercice, CHU de Nancy, rue du Morvan, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France.
4
Service des examens de la fonction respiratoire et de l'aptitude à l'exercice, CHU de Nancy, rue du Morvan, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France; Antenne médicale de prévention du dopage de Lorraine, CHU de Nancy, rue du Morvan, 54500 Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

In French law (Code du Sport), the status of elite athlete is allowed for young athletes beginning at the age of 12 years. For these young athletes, the aim is to reach the highest level of performance in their sport without compromising academic performance. Training time is therefore often substantial and sleep patterns appear to play a key role in performance recovery. The aim of this study was to assess sleep patterns and their effects on academic performance in young elite athletes.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Sleep patterns were assessed using questionnaires completed during a specific information-based intervention on sports medicine topics. The academic performance of young elite athletes was assessed by collecting their grades (transmitted by their teachers).

RESULTS:

Sleep patterns were assessed for 137 young elite athletes (64 females, 73 males; mean age, 15.7 years) and academic performance for 109 of them. Daily sleep duration during school periods (8h22 ± 38 min) were shorter compared to holidays and week-ends (10h02 ± 1h16, P<0.0001). Fifty-six athletes (41 %) subjectively estimated their sleep quality as poor or just sufficient. Poor sleep quality was correlated with poor academic performance in this specific athlete population.

DISCUSSION:

Sleep is the most important period for recovery from daily activity, but little information is available regarding the specific population of young elite athletes. The results reported herein suggest insufficiency (quantitatively and qualitatively) of sleep patterns in some of the young athletes, possibly leading to detrimental effects on athletic performance. Moreover, disturbed sleep patterns may also impact academic performance in young elite athletes.

CONCLUSION:

Teachers, athletic trainers, physicians, and any other professionals working with young elite athletes should pay particular attention to this specific population regarding the possible negative repercussions of poor sleep patterns on academic and athletic performance.

PMID:
24947107
DOI:
10.1016/j.arcped.2014.04.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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