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A Sleep Analysis of Elite Female Soccer Players During a Competition Week

Thomas, C, Jones, H, Whitworth-Turner, C and Louis, J (2021) A Sleep Analysis of Elite Female Soccer Players During a Competition Week. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. ISSN 1555-0265

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Abstract

Purpose: (1) To compare the sleep of female players from a professional soccer team to non-athlete controls across an in-season week and (2) to compare the sleep of core and fringe players from the same team on the night after a match to training nights. Methods: Using an observational design, 18 professional female soccer players and 18 female non-athlete controls were monitored for their sleep via wristwatch actigraphy across one week. Independent sample t-tests and Mann Whitney U tests were performed to compare sleep between groups whilst an ANOVA compared sleep on training nights to the night after a match. Results: Soccer players had significantly greater sleep duration than non-athlete controls (+38 min; P = 0.009; d: 0.92), which may have resulted from an earlier bedtime (-00:31 h: min; P = 0.047; d: 0.70). The soccer players also had less intraindividual variation in bedtime than non-athletes (-00:08 h: min; P = 0.023; r: 0.38). Despite this, sleep onset latency was significantly longer within soccer players (+8 min; P = 0.032; d: 0.78). On the night after a match, sleep duration of core players was significantly lower than on training nights (-49 min; P = 0.010; d: 0.77). In fringe players, there was no significant difference between nights for any sleep characteristic. Conclusions: During the in-season period, sleep duration of professional female soccer players is greater than non-athlete controls. However, the night after a match challenges the sleep of players with more match involvement and warrant priority of sleep hygiene strategies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 2021, https://dx.doi.org/ 10.1123/ijspp.2020-0706 © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences, 1116 Medical Physiology, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports > GV711 Coaching
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV561 Sports
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2021 11:02
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 11:02
DOI or Identification number: 10.1123/ijspp.2020-0706
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14431

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