Altered sleep–wake cycles and physical performance in athletes

  title={Altered sleep–wake cycles and physical performance in athletes},
  author={Thomas Reilly and Benjamin Edwards},
  journal={Physiology \& Behavior},

Figures and Tables from this paper

Sleep of athletes – problems and possible solutions

It is beyond doubt that athletes need more sleep than sedentary people, and so athletes, in order to perform optimally, need to respect the “rules” imposed by the circadian pacemaker for establishing consistent sleep periods.


The interaction between sleep and athletic performance is evident by published papers but the question is raised as how to apply this information in the athletic setting due to the complex physiology of sleep and the intervariability among athletes.

Sleep in athletes and the effects of Ramadan

The available data on sleep indicate that team doctors and coaches should consider planning sleep schedule and napping; implementing educational programmes focusing on the need for healthy sleep; and consider routine screening for sleep loss in athletes of all age groups and genders.

Sleep, energy disturbances and pre-competitive stress in female traveller athletes

Investigating sleep, body composition, pre-competitive stress and energy in elite female athletes just before a World Cup and potential sleep risks according to the travelled distance by athletes in order to compete demonstrated disordered sleep and precompetitive stress.

Nutrition, sleep and recovery

A number of nutritional factors have been suggested to improve sleep, including valerian, melatonin, tryptophan, a high glycaemic index diet before bedtime, and maintenance of a balanced and healthy diet.

Does one night of partial sleep deprivation affect the evening performance during intermittent exercise in Taekwondo players?

It is indicated that short-term sleep restriction affect the intermittent performance, as well as the Lac levels of the Taekwondo players in the evening of the following day, without alteration of HRpeak and RPE.

Sleep in elite athletes

Sleep is essential for recovery and performance in elite athletes. While actigraphy-based studies revealed suboptimal sleep in athletes, information on their subjective experience of sleep is scarce.

Sleep and Athletic Performance: The Effects of Sleep Loss on Exercise Performance, and Physiological and Cognitive Responses to Exercise

The importance and prevalence of sleep in athletes is evaluated and the effects of sleep loss (restriction and deprivation) on exercise performance, and physiological and cognitive responses to exercise are summarised.



Aging, rhythms of physical performance, and adjustment to changes in the sleep-activity cycle.

People habituated to night work seem to have developed mechanisms which allow them to cope with disruptions to lifestyle and the endogenous body clock, and Elderly people are more suited to phase advances, as occur in morning workshifts, than to phase delays such as nocturnal work.

Circadian Variation in Sports Performance

Although athletes show all the symptoms of ‘jet lag’ (increased fatigue, disturbed sleep and circadian rhythms), more research work is needed to identify the effects of transmeridian travel on the actual performances of elite sports competitors.

Pharmacologic management of daytime sleepiness.

  • J. Schwartz
  • Medicine, Psychology
    The Journal of clinical psychiatry
  • 2004
Determining the cause of daytime sleepiness is the first step in treating it, and setting appropriate and realistic treatment goals with the patient and initiating treatment are the next steps.

Methodological Issues in Studies of Rhythms in Human Performance

In this review various sources of measurement error are considered in the context of investigating rhythms in human performance, including the effects of rhythmic variations in female steroid hormones and on interactions between circadian and circamensal rhythms.

Anchor sleep as a synchronizer of rhythms on abnormal routines.

Irregular sleeping routines, whether as a single randomly-timed 8-hour sleep or as two randomly-arranged 4-hourSleep periods, were associated with free-running rhythms with periods greater than 24 hours, even though mealtimes continued to be taken as customary times of day.

Effects of exercise on sleep.

The runners showed less rapid eye-movement activity during sleep than the nonrunners under both experimental conditions, indicating a strong and unexpected effect of physical fitness on this measure.

Sleep Deprivation : Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects

A Concluding Note on Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Mechanisms and the Role of Endogenous Sleep-Promoting Substances.

Circadian Rhythms in Sports Performance—an Update

There is a wealth of information from both applied and experimental work, which, when considered together, suggests that sports performance is affected by time of day in normal entrained conditions and that the variation has at least some input from endogenous mechanisms.

The effect of partial sleep deprivation on weight-lifting performance.

Mood states of confusion, vigour, and fatigue were affected significantly by the sleep deprivation regimen, but there was no significant effect of sleep loss or anger, tension, and depression.