Quality sleep is key for all kids and teens, as it helps their developing brains and bodies function properly. Researchers found that young athletes with good sleep quality were more likely to recover from a sport-related concussion within two weeks, while those with poor sleep quality tended to take 30 days or more to fully recover. At their initial clinic visit and three-months later, each kid filled out a sleep-assessment questionnaire. 261 athletes were classified as good-quality sleepers, while 95 were considered poor-quality sleepers, those who slept fewer than seven hours a night, needed at least 30 minutes to drift off, couldn’t stay asleep, needed sleep meds and experienced daytime drowsiness, among other issues.
The athletes also reported their concussion symptoms at the initial clinic visit and three-month follow-up. Those with healthy sleep habits fared significantly better following a concussion than the kids who struggled with sleep. The poor-quality sleepers reported two times worse symptoms at the time of diagnosis and, although improved, were still worse than those of the good-quality sleepers at their three-month follow-up.