Newswise — The real madness of March? Staying up too late to catch NCAA basketball games night after night. In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), 58% of Americans admitted to staying up past their bedtime to watch a sporting event — including 72% of men. With a full schedule of games lasting into the night, basketball is likely to steal sleep from many fans this month — and losing sleep has consequences.

“A lack of sleep can lead to trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling emotions and more,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “It’s important to ensure sleep is a priority — even if there is a great game on — because getting healthy sleep on a regular basis positively impacts health, well-being and performance.”

It’s not just fans who need to prioritize sleep. Studies have shown that players who increase their sleep duration exhibit improved performance on the court. According to a 2011 study published in the journal Sleep, when players on the Stanford University men’s basketball team extended their sleep, they demonstrated improved shooting accuracy, with both free throw percentage and 3-point field goal percentage increasing by 9%. In addition, players improved their average sprint time. To view more details on the Sleep Prioritization Survey and results, visit www.aasm.org/newsroom. For more tips to make the most of your sleep, visit www.sleepeducation.org.

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