⇒ When monitoring a group of athletes, it is important to inspect each athlete’s profile to create an individualised approach to balancing training load and improving readiness to guide sleep education and intervention strategies.
⇒ Sleep duration of <7h is insufficient and sleep efficiency (i.e. percentage of time in bed that was spent asleep) ≤74% indicates inappropriate sleep quality for young adult athletes ⇒ Encouraging athletes to implement 30-60 min of additional sleep each night and implement daytime naps can help athletes capitalise on benefits of sleep. ⇒ Examining weekly coefficient of variation for HRV results may provide valuable information regarding potential response to training. The higher the HRV, and the less variation (i.e.) <3% deviation), the more
aerobically fit and resilient the athlete is, improving the likelihood of sufficient recovery. ⇒ Monitoring the sleep patterns of your athletes daily and watching it change over weeks and months, helps to identify athlete variation in total sleep time and HRV scores as potentially maladaptive, stressed, and limiting their performance potential. Alternatively, athletes that show little variation, achieving optimal sleep duration and efficiency, are able to progress and handle training and competition loads with greater confidence.
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“This collaboration of data collection provides support for the training activities leading into the tournament, as the athletes avoided extreme fluctuation or disturbance in sleep and autonomic function. Further examining the GPS data, highlights the well managed training volumes and intensities during the week, as athletes experienced the highest loads during match-play and practice sessions were appropriately prescribed.
The greatest disturbance of sleep occurred as a result of a late evening match. This highlights the entertainment side of sport that athletes are victims of at the professional level, with late games being inevitable to allow for broadcasting or fan attendance. This suggests that steps should be taken by the coaching staff to allow for extended sleep by modifying the subsequent day’s schedule.
Lastly, although it is time consuming and somewhat invasive, monitoring at this level is extremely beneficial to providing the greatest possible care and training prescription for an athlete and team’s performance. It is vital to get all parties involved to be supportive in the monitoring process, intervening, educating, and adjusting along the way.”