A new study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's annual meet in Chicago reveals that the performance of athletes undergoing baseline concussion testing suffered if they did not get enough sleep the night before.
"Our results indicate athletes sleeping less than 7 hours the night prior to baseline concussion testing did not do as well on 3 out of 4 ImPACT scores and showed more symptoms," said lead author, Jake McClure, MD from Vanderbilt University. "Because return-to-play decisions often hinge on the comparison of post-concussion to baseline concussion scores, our research indicates that healthcare providers should consider the sleep duration prior to baseline neurocognitive testing as a potential factor in assessing recovery."
Researchers reviewed 3,686 non-concussed athletes-2,371 male, 1,315 female, 3,305 high school and 381 college-aged individuals-with baseline symptom and ImPACT neurocognitive scores. Individuals were stratified into three groups based on self-reported sleep duration the night before testing: fewer than 7 hours, 7-9 hours and greater than 9 hours. Significant differences in Reaction Time, Verbal Memory and Visual Memory scores were all noted in the group sleeping less than 7 hours. However, Visual-motor (processing) Speed scores did not seem to be affected. Also, significant differences in the total number of reported symptoms were associated with sleeping fewer than 7 hours.
"Understanding factors which modify baseline testing, potentially including sleep, will continue to help lead to more accurate concussion testing, which ultimately equips clinicians with the best judgment to avoid returning athletes to competition earlier than necessary," said McClure.
The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids. For more information on AOSSM or the STOP Sports Injuries campaign, visit sportsmed.org> or stopsportsinjuries.org