This is an interesting article pertaining to research involving adolescent athletes and sports injuries. It even took the researchers by surprise after looking at the results.
The study showed that the number of hours of sleep per night was significantly associated with the risk of injury in teen athletes. The athletes that slept 8 or more hours per night were 68% less likely to sustain a sports injury than those who slept less hours. The other factor was the grade level of these athletes. Those who were in a higher grade level were more than 2 times likely to have injuries.
The average age of these teen athletes was 15 years old. What they did not take into account was their Tanner Stage, or physical maturity. For instance, early maturing males have a rapid increase in height at age 12 and reach their most rapid gain in weight and muscle mass at age 14. Late maturing males don’t reach their rapid gain in height until age 16 which is 2 years later than average boys, and 4 years later than early maturing peers. Girls have their own maturity stages as well.
There is a certain maturity stage during rapid growth that makes teens more prone to injury due to their vast difference in hormone levels which effect strength, flexibility and size. Unbalanced competition between early and late-maturing teens in sports contributes to injuries even if their chronological age is the same. So irregardless of hours of sleep….it would be interesting to see out of those teens with injuries, how their physical maturity played a role (if at all).