The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes

Doherty, Rónán, Madigan, Sharon M., Nevill, Alan, Warrington, Giles and Ellis, Jason (2021) The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes. Nutrients, 13 (4). p. 1330. ISSN 2072-6643

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041330

Abstract

Background: Athletes maintain a balance between stress and recovery and adopt recovery modalities that manage fatigue and enhance recovery and performance. Optimal TST is subject to individual variance. However, 7–9 h sleep is recommended for adults, while elite athletes may require more quality sleep than non-athletes. Methods: A total of 338 (elite n = 115, 74 males and 41 females, aged 23.44 ± 4.91 years; and sub-elite n = 223, 129 males and 94 females aged 25.71 ± 6.27) athletes were recruited from a variety of team and individual sports to complete a battery of previously validated and reliable widely used questionnaires assessing sleep, recovery and nutritional practices. Results: Poor sleep was reported by both the elite and sub-elite athlete groups (i.e., global PSQI score ≥5—elite 64 n = 74; sub-elite 65% n = 146) and there was a significant difference in sport-specific recovery practices (3.22 ± 0.90 vs. 2.91 ± 0.90; p < 0.001). Relatively high levels of fatigue (2.52 ± 1.32), stress (1.7 ± 1.31) and pain (50%, n = 169) were reported in both groups. A range of supplements were used regularly by athletes in both groups; indeed, whey (elite n = 22 and sub-elite n = 48) was the most commonly used recovery supplement in both groups. Higher alcohol consumption was observed in the sub-elite athletes (12%, n = 26) and they tended to consume more units of alcohol per drinking bout. Conclusion: There is a need for athletes to receive individualised support and education regarding their sleep and recovery practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sleep; recovery; nutrition; alcohol; athletes
Subjects: B400 Nutrition
C600 Sports Science
C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 11:27
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 14:39
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45940

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