Early morning sport scheduling is associated with poorer subjective sleep characteristics in British student- athletes

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Abstract

This study presents the sleep characteristics of British student- athletes and examines the relationships between sport scheduling and time demands on sleep outcomes. Student- athletes (n = 157, 51% male) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and the Sleep Hygiene Index (SHI). Self- reported sleep characteristics on weekdays and weekends, weekly frequencies of early morning and late evening sport sessions, and academic- related and sport- related time demands were also collected. Questionnaires revealed a high prevalence of undesired sleep characteristics including poor sleep quality (global PSQI >5 in 49.0%) and low sleep durations on weekdays (25% reporting <7 h). Paired t- tests revealed significant differences in bedtime, waketime, sleep duration, and sleep onset latency between weekdays and weekends (all p < 0.01). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that early morning sport frequency was a significant predictor of PSQI (β = 0.30) and SHI (β = 0.24) global scores, weekday waketimes (β = −0.17), and weekday sleep durations (β = −0.25; all p < 0.05) in models adjusted for participant characteristics. Late evening sport frequency, and academic- related and sport- related time demands, were not significant predictors of any sleep outcome. Adjusting sport scheduling to avoid early start times could provide a means to improve sleep outcomes and may improve sporting performance and academic attainment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • scheduling
  • sleep
  • social jetlag
  • student‐athlete

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