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The relationship between sleep duration, sleep quality, and race completion time during each stage of a 3-day ultra-endurance triathlon (stage 1: 10-km swim, 146-km cycle; stage 2: 276-km cycle; and stage 3: 84.4-km run) was investigated. Seventeen triathletes partook in sleep analysis throughout the ultra-endurance multiday triathlon using an actigraphy wristband. The participants wore the band to record objective sleep outcomes for approximately 4 days (1–2 d prerace, 3 race days, and 1 d postrace), except while racing. The total sleep time (TST; prerace: 414.1 [95.3] min, prestage 1: 392.2 [138.3] min, prestage 2: 355.6 [62.5] min, and prestage 3: 299.7 [107.0] min) significantly decreased over time (P < .05). Significant Pearson moment–product correlations were found between TST and subsequent race–day performance for race stage 1 (r = −.577; P = .019) and stage 3 (r = −.546; P = .035), with further analysis revealing that TST explained 33% and 30% of the variation in performance for stages 1 and 3, respectively. During a 3-day ultra-endurance triathlon, the TST was reduced and had a significant negative correlation to exercise performance, indicating that sleep loss was associated with slower performances. Sleep onset latency, wake episodes, and sleep efficiency did not significantly change over the course of this investigation, which may stem from the close proximity of exercise to sleep.

Kisiolek is with the School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO, USA. Smith is with the Dept of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. Baur is with the Dept of Physical Education, Virginia Military Inst, Lexington, VA, USA. Willingham, Leyh, Saracino, and Ormsbee are with the Dept of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology, Inst of Sports Sciences and Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA. Morrissey is with the Korey Stringer Inst, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. Mah is with the Human Performance Center, Dept of Orthopedics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA, and the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Redwood City, CA. Ormsbee is also with the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Ormsbee (mormsbee@fsu.edu) is corresponding author.
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