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How much sleep does a sporty 12.5 year-old need?

(9 Posts)
mamhaf Mon 25-Aug-08 20:35:59

Dd2 is 12-and-a-half and is pursuing a sport which means stepping up the activity and playing or training 5 or 6 days a week from now on, for at least two hours a day each time.

She's not the best at going to bed early, but realises her sport (and schoolwork) will suffer if she doesn't.

By way of comparison, does anyone else have a sporty teenager who can let me know how much sleep they need/get?

I realise if she's going through a growth spurt (which she might be at the moment), she's likely to need more sleep than other times.


S1ur Mon 25-Aug-08 20:37:33

some info

Says about 9 hours but up to you to judge best.

mamhaf Mon 25-Aug-08 20:48:18

Thanks - interesting that it says they need more as they progress through their teens.

mimsum Tue 26-Aug-08 20:02:29

ds is 11 and swims competitively - he has 5 2 hour sessions a week with his club and two 1 hour sessions at school

at the moment he's getting around 9 hours a night, but if he continues at this level he's going to have to start early morning training as well in a year or two which I'm not looking forward to .....

I keep a close eye on his energy levels and if he's really tired then he will skip training for a night (which he hates doing) or in extreme cases he has been known to stay off school for a day (v rarely though as I've told him school has to come first, much to his disgust)

what's her sport mamhaf? I thought we were peculiarly unlucky that ds is good at swimming as most other sports don't have that much training for years yet

mamhaf Wed 27-Aug-08 12:40:34

She's a tennis player mimsum.

We're having to structure the training and competing ourselves as the performance centre she attends, while happy to take our money, is very short on advice for parents. (this is a common complaint from lots of parents we've met from around the UK)

Dd's coach says she needs to step up her fitness training and recommended another club with good players she can practise against.

Fortunately Judy Murray (Andy Murray's mum) has a great website where we've picked up a lot of advice on how much training she needs, how to structure competitions etc. There's general advice on there too which would apply to any child competing in sport, which you might find useful for your ds.

mimsum Wed 27-Aug-08 14:36:45

that sounds tricky mamhaf - we leave everything up to the coach - how much training, which galas to enter, ratio of training to competition etc - all we have to do is make sure he's fed, rested and gets to training on time

thanks for the link, will have a look

good luck to your dd

snorkle Wed 27-Aug-08 22:29:15

I think there isn't a fixed rule - some children, like adults need more sleep than others. You need to look for signs of overtiredness like grumpiness, moodiness and yawning lots in class - hold on that list sounds just like regular teenagers not just sleep deprived ones, but you know what I mean. I think they tend to get ill more often if they're overtired too.

Sport at a high level is always tricky in achieving the right balance. Remember too that eating enough around training sessions is important as well as sleep.

mamhaf Wed 27-Aug-08 23:03:11

Thanks both.

One of the things I do find tricky snorkle is distinguishing the normal teenage behaviour as you describe from overtiredness.

I keep asking her teachers if she seems tired and they say not, and her schoolwork is fine.

But if she's going to step up the training, she will need more sleep.

And diet is tricky too - she goes to some tournaments (like today) with dd1 rather than me or dh and dd1 isn't quite as effective at nagging her to eat carbs within half and hour of coming off court.

I'm sure she'll survive though! She's getting so much out of it all and thoroughly enjoying being with other like-minded teenagers.

snorkle Thu 28-Aug-08 22:11:39

It is tricky mamhaf. What I've done is if I catch them being particularly irritable when I know they are tired and then notice them being irritable again when I think they might be tired then I'll mandate an early night & tell them why. I reckon even if I'm wrong about the tiredness at least it will encourage them not to be irritable! The only time I can think of when we had concrete evidence of overtiredness was when a teacher at parents eve told us one of the dcs always yawned lots in his class on a Monday morning - we'd never really considered that the long and quite late swim training session on a Sunday night might have that effect, but it was evidently taking its toll. So teachers can be useful indicators sometimes, but it sounds as though it's not a problem in your case.

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