Sleep-hygiene education improves sleep indices in elite female athletes. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The importance of sleep in providing psychophysiological recovery in elite athletes is often overlooked. In other populations (eg shift workers and adolescent students), sleep hygiene education may serve to acutely improve sleep indices. However, this is yet to be examined in an elite athlete setting. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of a sleep hygiene education session on sleep indices in elite athletes. The study involved 26 elite female netball athletes performing one week of baseline sleep monitoring (PRE), followed by a sleep hygiene education session and a further week of sleep monitoring (POST) in a single group, pre- post design. The sleep hygiene education session focused on providing information on the importance of sleep for athletes and practical tips to improve sleep quality and quantity. Sleep monitoring was performed using wrist actigraphy to assess total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE%), total time in bed (TTB), sleep latency (SL), wake episodes per night (WE), sleep onset variance (SOV), wake variance (WV) wake episode duration (WED), sleep onset time (SOT), and wake time (WT). There was a significant improvement in TST (mean ± SD; 22.3 ± 39.9 minutes, p=0.01) PRE to POST sleep hygiene education session, the difference associated with a small effect (ES: 0.39). A significant improvement PRE to POST was found for WV (p=0.03), and for WED (p=0.03). There were no significant differences for SE%, SL, TTB, WE, SOV, SOT, WT. The current study reports that a sleep hygiene education session is effective in improving sleep quantity in elite female athletes in an acute setting.

publication date

  • 2017