Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players

Date:
June 9, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
Football players' sprint times improved significantly after seven to eight weeks of sleep extension. Average sprint time in the 20-yard shuttle improved from 4.71 seconds to 4.61 seconds, and average 40-yard dash time decreased from 4.99 seconds to 4.89 seconds. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue also decreased significantly, while vigor scores significantly improved. Participants were seven healthy students on the Stanford football team. Results support previous research involving students who compete in other sports.

Getting extra sleep over an extended period of time improves athletic performance, alertness and mood, according to a research abstract presented June 8, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Results indicate that football players' sprint times improved significantly after seven to eight weeks of sleep extension. Average sprint time in the 20-yard shuttle improved from 4.71 seconds to 4.61 seconds, and the average 40-yard dash time decreased from 4.99 seconds to 4.89 seconds. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue also decreased significantly, while vigor scores significantly improved.

"Sleep duration may be an important consideration for an athlete's daily training regimen," said lead author Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory in Stanford, Calif. "Furthermore, sleep extension also may contribute to minimizing the effects of accumulated sleep deprivation and thus could be a beneficial strategy for optimal performance."

The study involved seven healthy students on the Stanford University football team. Their ages ranged from 18 to 22 years, and they played a variety of positions on the team. Participants maintained their habitual sleep/wake schedule for two weeks at the beginning of the season to establish their baseline measures.

"These athletes began their competitive season with moderate levels of daytime sleepiness and fatigue," said Mah.

Then the participants extended their sleep for seven to eight weeks during the season, obtaining as much sleep as possible and aiming for a minimum of ten hours of sleep each night. The 20-yard shuttle and 40-yard dash drills, which are used to measure performance at the annual National Football League Scouting Combine, were conducted after every regular practice. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered once a week to monitor changes in mood, and daytime sleepiness was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Participants also completed daily sleep journals, and their daily sleep/wake activity was monitored by actigraphy.

"By substantially increasing sleep duration, athletes experienced a decrease in both daytime sleepiness and fatigue and increase in vigor towards the end of their season," said Mah.

The results support Mah's previous research at Stanford involving men and women who compete in other sports such as basketball, golf, cross country, and track and field. Last year at SLEEP 2009, she reported that five members of the women's tennis team had faster sprint times and better hitting accuracy after a period of sleep extension. At SLEEP 2008 she reported that sleep extension helped five members of the swim team swim faster, react quicker off the blocks, turn faster and increase their kick strokes.

Mah noted that although traditional athletic training regimens typically focus on multiple aspects of physical training, few prioritize adequate sleep as an important component. She offered these tips to help athletes improve their performance by maximizing their sleep:

  • Make sleep a part of your regular training regimen.
  • Extend nightly sleep for several weeks to reduce your sleep debt before competition.
  • Maintain a low sleep debt by obtaining a sufficient amount of nightly sleep (seven to eight hours for adults, nine or more hours for teens and young adults).
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.
  • Take brief naps to obtain additional sleep during the day, especially if drowsy.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608091858.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2010, June 9). Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608091858.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608091858.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins