Trent A. Hargens, FACSM, Lindsay J. Lickers, Amanda J. Becker, Christopher J. Womack, FACSM, Nicholas D. Luden. James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Adequate sleep is a vital component of health and wellness. Poor sleep has been shown to significantly impact athletic performance; however most research has focused on several days or more of sleep deprivation. The impact of a single night of sleep restriction on subsequent performance is less well understood. This paradigm would more closely mimic anxiety and nervousness prior to an important event. PURPOSE: To examine the effect of one night of sleep restriction (SR) on cycle time trial (TT) performance compared to a night of normal sleep (NS). METHODS: Eight recreational cyclists [age = 20.6 ± 1.4 yr; body mass index (BMI) = 23.0 ± 1.9; VO2max = 42.7 ± 6.6 mL/kg/min/] completed 3 performance trials (1 familiarization and 2 experimental) on a cycle ergometer. Performance trials consisted of a 3-kilometer TT. Experimental trials were performed after NS (6-8 hours) or SR (3 hours). Order of experimental trials was randomized. Experimental trials were performed at the same time of day (6:00 - 8:00 am). Diet was replicated prior to each trial and physical activity was monitored for 48 hours prior to each trial with accelerometer. Sleep was monitored via accelerometry the night of the experimental trials to confirm sleep duration. RESULTS: There was no difference in average power (151 ± 32 vs. 146 ± 41 Watts for SR and NS, respectively; P = 0.3), peak power (230 ± 66 vs. 239 ± 89 Watts; P = 0.6) or average heart rate (187 ± 11 vs. 189 ± 15; P = 0.5) between the experimental trials. Additionally, there was no significant difference in TT finish time (6.0 ± 0.5 vs. 6.2 ± 0.8 sec for SR and NS, respectively; P = 0.5) despite a 10.5 second faster time with SR. 5 of 8 subjects has a faster finishing time with the SR trial. CONCLUSION: Results showed no difference in TT finishing time between the SR and NS conditions, yet a majority of subjects performed better during the SR condition. Additional research with a greater sample is needed to further assess this question. A potential mechanism for the faster time with SR may be sleep inertia, which is the transitional state between sleep and wake, characterized by impaired performance. Sleep inertia can last for several hours. In the current study, subjects completed the TT in the NS condition within the time frame where sleep inertia could affect performance.

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