Sleep extension through napping may effect performance
Your weekly research review
- Background & Objective
- What They Did
- What They Found
- Practical Takeaways
- Reviewer’s Comments
- About the Reviewer
Background & Objective
Day napping is a strategy frequently used by athletes to increase sleep duration and readiness to perform. Although, there seems to be little scientific evidence about the effects of naps aiding athletic performance and the effects of different napping durations on subsequent performance.
This study aimed to investigate whether or not different nap durations aided an athlete’s readiness to perform on the same day.
What They Did
Seventeen physically active men performed a shuttle test under four conditions with 72-h between each condition:
25-, 35- or 45-min nap opportunity (NAP25, NAP35, NAP45, respectively). No nap opportunity (CON).
The shuttle test consisted of six sets of 30 sec maximal shuttle sprints over 5-, 10-, 15- and 20 m with 35 sec between sets. Total distance over the 6 x 30 sec (TD), best distance (BD) and fatigue index (FI; FI (%)) were obtained. For specific information on how FI was calculated refer to the abstract link above.
What They Found
The main findings of this study were:
“Although the participants of this study weren’t athletes, the conclusions from this study still provide us some guidance in terms of the effects of napping in performance. More precisely, this study demonstrates that napping during the day may provide benefits in terms of athletic performance.
In previous issues, I have talked about the importance of providing group (Performance Digest Issue #28) and individual education about sleep hygiene and strategies to enhance sleep time and sleep quality (Performance Digest Issue #32). Increasing total sleep duration by adding naps can be a powerful tool to be used in athletes revealing bad sleep duration and quality. These athletes can trial day napping and understand how it effects their fatigue levels and night sleep. Practitioners need to be aware that for some individual’s day napping may negatively impact on night sleep and, therefore, effect their overall sleep duration/quality.”
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The full study can be read here.
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