Student athletes are a particular subset of people with special needs. They have to balance their school, athletics, and extra curricular activities. This can make it difficult for student athletes to obtain the number of hours of sleep that they need.
On average, college athletes spend between 27-41 hours per week on training and competition. They also have high pressure to perform academically well, and have to attend class, office hours, tutoring sessions, and academic advising. At least 42% of student athletes report getting poor sleep every day, with 3 in 5 students getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night.
Guidelines state that adolescents and teens should be averaging 8-10 hours of sleep a night. For student athletes, the bottom number actually increases to 9 hours of sleep a night.
A study found that 72% of them nap on a regular basis, but napping can interfere with sleep schedules and cause insomnia at night. Therefore, it's important to find the best time to nap, and not snooze for too long.
Sleep varies according to level of activity of a particular student athlete. More strenuous sports require longer sleep for full recovery. Therefore, there isn't a single recommendation for sleep that covers all student athletes. Given the many variables that go into one's sleep requirements, it's best for student athletes to analyze their own sleep patterns and determine what amount of hours makes them feel good.