Early Morning Training Impacts Previous Night’s Sleep in NCAA Division I Cross Country Runners

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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The effects of training time on sleep has been previously studied; however, the influence on sleep in female collegiate cross-country runners is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of training time on self-reported sleep metrics. Eleven female collegiate cross-country runners (mean [M] age = 19 years, standard deviation [SD] age = 1 year; M [SD] body mass = 58.8 [9.6] kg; M [SD] height = 168.4 [7.7] cm; M [SD] VO2max = 53.6 [5.6] mL·kg−1·min−1) competing in the 2016 NCAA cross-country season were included in this study. Participants completed a sleep diary daily to assess perceived measures of sleep on days when training took place between the hours of 5:00–8:00 a.m. (AM), and when training did not take place during this time (NAM). Sleep quality questions utilized a 5-point Likert scale, in which a score of 1 is associated with the worst outcomes and a score of 5 is associated with the best outcomes. Sleep duration was significantly higher on NAM (M [SD] = 8.26 [1.43] h) compared to AM (M [SD] = 7.97 [1.09] h, p < .001). Sleep quality was significantly higher on NAM (M [SD] = 3.30 [1.01]) compared to AM (M [SD] = 3.02 [1.06], p < .001). The impairment of sleep quantity and quality the night prior to early morning training suggests that future considerations should be made to sleep schedules and/or training times to optimize perceived sleep quality.

Benjamin, Curtis, Sekiguchi, Giersch, and Casa are with the Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Adams is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

Benjamin (courteney.mincy@uconn.edu) is corresponding author.
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