Purpose: To assess the effects of a sleep hygiene strategy on parameters of sleep quality and quantity in youth elite rugby union players. Method: Eleven male players (age: 19.0 [1.4] y) undertook a sleep hygiene strategy composed of 2 theoretical sessions and 3 practical sessions over a 4-week period. Sleeping time, time in bed, total sleep time, sleep latency (SL), sleep efficiency (SE), wake after sleep onset, and wake bouts were recorded with an actigraphic device during the 4-week sleep hygiene strategy (baseline) and during 4 weeks after the last intervention (postintervention). Results: At baseline, the overall group reported poor sleep quantity (total sleep time = 6:27 [0:30] min), but sleep quality was considered acceptable (SL = 0:18 [0:08] min and SE = 77.8% [5.8%]). Postintervention, the overall group showed a small improvement in SL (d = −0.23 [−0.42 to −0.04], P = .003) and SE (d = 0.30 [0.03 to 0.57], P = .0004). For individual responses, sleeping time, time in bed, and total sleep time were positively influenced in only 4, 3, and 5 players, respectively. For parameters of sleep quality, SL and SE were positively influenced in a majority of players (n = 7 and 8, respectively). The magnitude of difference between baseline and postintervention was strongly associated with baseline values in SE (r = −.86; P = .0005) and wake after sleep onset (r = −.87; P = .0007). Conclusion: A sleep hygiene strategy is efficient to improve sleep quality but not sleep quantity in young rugby union players. The strategy was more efficient in players with lower initial sleep quality and should be implemented prior to a high cumulative fatigue period.
Adrien Vachon, Fabien Sauvet, Florane Pasquier, Jean-Baptiste Paquet, and Laurent Bosquet
Florane Pasquier, Robin Pla, Laurent Bosquet, Fabien Sauvet, Mathieu Nedelec, and
Purpose: Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality are common in swimmers. Sleep-hygiene strategies demonstrated beneficial effects on several sleep parameters. The present study assessed the impact of a multisession sleep-hygiene training course on sleep in elite swimmers. Methods: Twenty-eight elite swimmers (17  y) participated. The sleep-hygiene strategy consisted of 3 interventions. Sleep was measured by actigraphy for 7 days before the beginning of the intervention (baseline), after the first collective intervention (postintervention), after the second collective intervention (postintervention 2), and, finally, after the individual intervention (postintervention 3). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) was completed concurrently. Swimmers were classified into 2 groups: nonsomnolent (baseline ESS score ≤ 10, n = 13) and somnolent (baseline ESS score ≥ 11, n = 15). Results: All swimmers had a total sleep time of <8 hours per night. Sixty percent of swimmers were moderately morning type. Later bedtime, less time in bed, and total sleep time were observed in the somnolent group compared with the nonsomnolent group at baseline. An interaction between training course and group factors was observed for bedtime, with a significant advance in bedtime between baseline, postintervention 2, and postintervention 3 for the somnolent group. Conclusions: The present study confirms the importance of implementing sleep-hygiene strategies, particularly in athletes with an ESS score ≥11. A conjunction of individual and collective measures (eg, earlier bedtime, napping, and delaying morning training session) could favor the total sleep time achieved.
Bruno Marrier, Alexandre Durguerian, Julien Robineau, Mounir Chennaoui, Fabien Sauvet, Aurélie Servonnet, Julien Piscione, Bertrand Mathieu, Alexis Peeters, Mathieu Lacome, Jean-Benoit Morin, and Yann Le Meur
Purpose: Preconditioning strategies are considered opportunities to optimize performance on competition day. Although investigations conducted in rugby players on the effects of a morning preconditioning session have been done, additional work is warranted. The aim of this study was to monitor changes in physical and psychophysiological indicators among international Rugby-7s players after a priming exercise. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 14 under-18 international Rugby-7s players completed, at 8:00 AM, a preconditioning session consisting of a warm-up followed by small-sided games, accelerations, and 2 × 50-m maximal sprints (Experimental), or no preloading session (Control). After a 2-h break, the players performed a set of six 30-m sprints and a Rugby-7s match. Recovery–stress state and salivary stress-marker levels were assessed before the preloading session (Pre), immediately after the preloading session (Post 1), before the testing session (Post 2), and after the testing session (Post 3). Results: Experimental–Control differences in performance across a repeated-sprint test consisting of six 30-m sprints were very likely trivial (+0.2, ±0.7%, 3/97/1%). During the match, the total distance covered and the frequency of decelerations were possibly lower (small) in Experimental compared with Control. Differences observed in the other parameters were unclear or possibly trivial. At Post 2, the perceived recovery–stress state was improved (small difference) in Experimental compared with Control. No difference in salivary cortisol response was observed, while the preconditioning session induced a higher stimulation of salivary testosterone and α-amylase. Conclusions: The players’ ability to repeat sprints and physical activity in match play did not improve, but their psychophysiological state was positively affected after the present preconditioning session.