Sleep Architecture in Response to a Late Evening Competition in Team-Sport Athletes

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a late evening competition on sleep characteristics and perceived recovery in team-sport players using a validated self-applicable and portable polysomnographic device. Methods: Sixteen team-sport players (age: 25.4 [1.4] y; body mass index: 23.6 [0.5] kg/m2) completed the study. Objective and subjective sleep data were collected for 4 consecutive nights: 2 nights before (PRE2 and PRE1) and the 2 nights after an evening match (POST1), performed between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Total quality of recovery values were also collected in the morning. Results: A significantly delayed bedtime (P < .0001; ηp2=.68, large) was observed in the first night after the competition (2 h 29 min [1 h 15 min]) compared both to PRE2 (+88 min; P < .0001), PRE1 (+98 min; P < .0001), and POST1 (+100 min; P < .0001), and similar results were observed for wake-up time (P = .033; ηp2=.39, large): Players woke up significantly later in evening match (9 h 20 min [1 h 55 min]) compared with PRE2 (+85 min; P = .050) and POST1 (+85 min; P = .049). Conversely, total sleep time; sleep efficiency; sleep onset latency; wake after sleep onset; cortical arousals; N1, N2, N3, and REM (rapid eye movement) percentages; total quality of recovery values; and scores of subjective sleep quality did not vary among the 4 study nights. Conclusions: Team-sport players had delayed bedtime and wake-up time following an evening competition; however, sleep quality, duration, and subjective scores of recovery were not affected by the evening match. The delayed wake-up time seems to protect athletes’ sleep efficiency/duration against the evening-match-induced delayed bedtime.

Vitale, De Giacomi, and Banfi are with the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Milan, Italy. Galbiati, Strambi, and Banfi are with Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. Galbiati and Strambi are also with the Dept of Clinical Neurosciences, Neurology—Sleep Disorders Center, San Raffaele Scientific Inst, Milan, Italy. Tornese is with Synlab Cam, Monza, Italy. Levendowski is with Advanced Brain Monitoring, Carlsbad, CA, USA.

Vitale (jacopo.vitale@grupposandonato.it) is corresponding author.
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