Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games

Date:
November 27, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
A new analysis of National Football League results suggests that the body's natural circadian timing gives a performance advantage to West Coast teams when they play East Coast teams at night.

A new analysis of National Football League results suggests that the body's natural circadian timing gives a performance advantage to West Coast teams when they play East Coast teams at night.

"Over the past 40 years, even after accounting for the quality of the teams, West Coast NFL teams have had a significant athletic performance advantage over East Coast teams when playing games starting after 8 p.m. Eastern time," said lead author and board-certified sleep medicine physician Dr. Roger S. Smith. "Both the power and the persistent nature of this sleep-related athletic advantage were surprising."

The study by Harvard and Stanford researchers analyzed all NFL games from 1970 to 2011 that started after 8 p.m. EST and involved East Coast versus West Coast teams. There were 106 games that met inclusion criteria. An additional 293 daytime games involving the same match-ups were analyzed as a control group.

Data analysis showed a strong advantage for West Coast teams even after adjusting for the Las Vegas point spread, which takes into account factors such as the quality of the teams, injuries, and home-field advantage. During night games the West Coast teams beat the point spread in 66 percent of the games, and did so by an average of 5.26 points. For daytime games there was no significant advantage for West or East Coast teams.

"This study is a reminder that the body has an intricate timing system that regulates both sleep and aspects of human performance," said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. M. Safwan Badr. "We function best when we maintain a daily routine that promotes healthy sleep, which is critical for daytime alertness, performance and public safety."

The results are published in the December issue of the journal SLEEP.

According to the authors, biological rhythms can determine specific times at which peak performance is likely to occur. Previous studies have shown that elements of athletic performance peak in the late afternoon based on intrinsic circadian factors. Therefore, these night games may provide West Coast teams with an athletic advantage by allowing their players to compete at a body clock time that is closer to their athletic peak than their opponents.

"Applying principles of sleep physiology to competitive sports has the clear potential to yield a significant and natural athletic performance advantage," said Smith. "So if you are an athlete looking for a natural performance advantage, or if you just want to improve your health, talk with your doctor about your sleep."


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.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roger S. Smith, Bradley Efron, Cheri D. Mah, Atul Malhotra. The Impact of Circadian Misalignment on Athletic Performance in Professional Football Players. SLEEP, 2013; DOI: 10.5665/sleep.3248

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127115357.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2013, November 27). Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127115357.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131127115357.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
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