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High-intensity exercise in the evening does not disrupt sleep in endurance runners.

Thomas, C, Jones, H, Whitworth-Turner, C and Louis, J (2019) High-intensity exercise in the evening does not disrupt sleep in endurance runners. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 120 (2). pp. 359-368. ISSN 1439-6327

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PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of early evening exercise training at different intensities on nocturnal sleep and cardiac autonomic activity in endurance-trained runners. METHODS: Eight runners completed three experimental trials in a randomised, counterbalanced order. In the early evening (end of exercise 3.5 h before bedtime), participants performed either: (i) a 1 h high-intensity interval running session (HIGH, 6 × 5 min at 90% VO2peak interspersed with 5 min recovery); (ii) a 1 h low-intensity running session (LOW, 60 min at 45% VO2peak) or (iii) no exercise (CON). Subsequent nocturnal sleep was assessed using polysomnography, wristwatch actigraphy, and subjective sleep quality. A two-lead electrocardiogram recorded nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity. RESULTS: Total sleep time increased after HIGH (477.4 ± 17.7 min, p = 0.022) and LOW (479.6 ± 15.6 min, p = 0.006) compared with CON (462.9 ± 19.0 min). Time awake was lower after HIGH (31.8 ± 18.5 min, p = 0.047) and LOW (30.4 ± 15.7 min, p = 0.008) compared with CON (46.6 ± 20.0 min). There were no differences between conditions for actigraphy and subjective sleep quality (p > 0.05). Nocturnal heart rate variability was not different between conditions, but average nocturnal heart rate increased after HIGH (50 ± 5 beats min-1) compared with LOW (47 ± 5 beats min-1, p = 0.02) and CON (47 ± 5 beats min-1, p = 0.028). CONCLUSION: When performed in the early evening, high-intensity exercise does not disrupt and may even improve subsequent nocturnal sleep in endurance-trained runners, despite increased cardiac autonomic activity. Additionally, low-intensity exercise induced positive changes in sleep behaviour that are comparable to those obtained following high-intensity exercise.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 13:02
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 07:56
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00421-019-04280-w
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12210
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