Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Biggins M.;Purtill H.;Fowler P.;O Sullivan K.;Cahalan R.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Impact of Long-Haul Travel to International Competition on Sleep and Recovery in Elite Male and Female Soccer Athletes
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Optional Fields
chronotype elite sport jet lag sleep hygiene
Purpose: To investigate the impact of eastward travel across 7 time zones on sleep, jet lag, and recovery in elite soccer athletes. Methods: Twenty-one male and 20 female athletes (21.5 [1.7] y) traveled from Ireland to Taiwan to represent their national team at the World University Games 2017. Daily monitoring via actigraphy and subjective sleep and well-being measures were obtained for 1 week in Ireland (baseline), and for the duration of an international soccer tournament (days 1 5 [precompetition] and days 6 18 [competition]). Results: Sleep duration (P = .028) and time in bed (P = .006) were significantly lower at precompetition compared with baseline. Sleep quality (P .001) was significantly decreased in precompetition compared with baseline and competition. Subjective jet lag symptoms continued for up to 13 days posttravel. Athletes reported significantly greater fatigue during precompetition compared with competition (P = .005); however, there were no significant differences for recovery (P = .35) and readiness to train (P = .35). Sleep hygiene changed significantly during precompetition and competition compared with baseline in relation to reduced electronic device use (P = .005) and reduced caffeine intake (P .001). Females reported significantly greater presleep tension anxiety compared with males at all timepoints (P = .02). Conclusion: Long-haul eastward travel across 7 time zones has a significant impact on sleep duration and quality, likely related to changes in sleep patterns and jet lag. Athletes report changes in sleep hygiene posttravel; however, sleep remained negatively impacted for up to 5 days. Despite significant sleep disturbance and jet lag symptoms, young healthy athletes appear to recover well from long-haul travel; however, it is unknown if this interferes with training and competition performance.
Grant Details