Other Subject Area

Exercise Sports Science


International Journal of Exercise Science 15(6): 423-433, 2022. Early morning training sessions may affect sleep quantity in athletes. The purpose of this study is to examine differences in total sleep time of collegiate athletes on nights prior to early morning training sessions relative to non-training nights. Wristwatch monitors equipped with photoplethysmography and accelerometer technology were worn by 18 NCAA Division III collegiate athletes (Age: 20.1 ± 1.6 years, Height: 1.81 ± 0.02 m, Body Mass: 91.2 ± 6.5 kg, Body Fat %: 20.8 ± 1.6%) during a two-week period of training to monitor total sleep times. Athletes recorded time in and out of bed using a sleep diary, anxiety levels due to having to wake up in the morning, and perceived recovery status (PRS) upon waking the next day. The data were divided into: nights before non-training days (NT) and Training days (TD). Data were analyzed using univariate analysis. All athletes obtained significantly less total sleep on nights before TD relative to NT (NT: 8:15 ± 1:03 vs. TD: 6:08 ± 0:59 hh:mm; p < 0.05). There was a positive relationship between total sleep time and recovery status (p < 0.01). Anxiety scores were inversely related to total sleep time (p < 0.01). Next-day recovery status was inversely related to anxiety scores (p < 0.001). College athletes obtained significantly less total sleep time on nights before early morning training sessions (< 0700) during the off-season, regardless of sex and sport. Coaches should consider later training sessions or promote optimal sleep quantity in order to minimize the risks associated to early morning training sessions.