Sleep, like other things our kids’ bodies need, is most of the time overlooked when talking about the factors that contributes to the success of our children in their chosen sports. When talking about health, also, most parents only think about what they feed their children or how much exercise their child does. What most of us parents do not realize is that the amount of time our children spend not exercising or training and is instead spent in sleeping is as important as everything else.
There are a lot of ways on how to ensure our child’s sleep quality. But why is this important? The body, when deprived of its much needed rest, starts compromising our kids’ sport performances. While hours of rigorous training and hard work are critical to achieve success in the sport, the body’s need for a good night’s sleep is also necessary. Getting a quality sleep is very critical in boosting the child’s mental health and alertness, increases the child’s attention span, and allows the child to perform at his/her peak condition.
Aside from compromising our children’s athletic performances, there are more effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep Deprivation Effects
Firstly, let us define what sleep deprivation is. According to the Medical Dictionary, sleep deprivation is, “a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.”
The exact details of why our bodies need sleep are, until now, still being investigated. One thing is for certain, though, it’s that it is hard to function without sleep. As a matter of fact, one study has found that insufficient sleep causes changes in more than 700 genes in our bodies. Evidently, this lack of enough sleep over a period of time has effects. Here are some of them:
- Brain – If our young athletes are not having enough sleep, it would cause them to think less creatively and give up more quickly when struggling with a hard problem or sport routine. According to Dr. Michael Grandner, director of Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, we make judgments and decisions about our place in the world when we sleep, and sleep deprivation interrupts this, which then leads to anxiety, stress and depression.
If our kids need something to succeed in their sport, it is certainly not anxiety, stress, depression or a mentality of easily giving up. They need a strong mind, aside from a strong body, to continue and fight to be on top of the podium.
- Appetite – According to a lot of studies, sleep deprivation has something to do with people’s appetite to eat more calories which leads them to gain weight. In one of those studies, men who slept four hours a night for two nights reported a 24 percent increase in appetite.
Researchers are led to believe that two hormones are affected by the lack of sleep, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that signals when we’re full and it rises during the day, peaking at night, but not when we stay awake. Ghrelin is the hormone that signals when we’re hungry. On the said study, researchers saw an 18 percent decrease in levels of leptin and a 28 percent increase in levels of ghrelin.
Our kids need to stay fit to be able to succeed in their activities and not be in danger of getting sick. An uncontrollable appetite is not going to help their goals.
- Rest of the Body – Sleep is when our cells regenerate, so when sleep is disturbed, this process is thrown off. One system that is most sensitive to this is our blood vessels, because they are constantly being regenerated. Sleep deprivation is also liked with increased blood pressure and poor heart health. Inflammation is also boosted when one is sleep deprived, which can cause obesity, diabetes and being prone to getting sick.
These are just some of the effects of not having enough good night’s sleep. There are still so much more to know, and to keep updated, follow our educational blogs and social media. Looking for a fun and exciting way to learn gymnastics? Then come and enroll atBianka Panova Sport and Art Academy today. Come and learn gymnastics for kids with us!