The Effects of Sleep Extension on Sleep, Performance, Immunity and Physical Stress in Rugby Players
Abstract(1) Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of sleep extension in professional rugby players. The aims were to: (i) characterise sleep quantity in elite rugby players and determine changes in immune function and stress hormone secretion during a pre-season training programme; (ii) evaluate the efficacy of a sleep extension intervention in improving sleep, markers of physical stress, immune function and performance. (2) Methods: Twenty five highly trained athletes from a professional rugby team (age (mean ± SD) 25 ± 2.7 years; height 1.87 ± 0.07 m; weight 105 ± 12.1 kg) participated in a six week pre-post control-trial intervention study. Variables of sleep, immune function, sympathetic nervous activity, physiological stress and reaction times were measured. (3) Results: Sleep extension resulted in a moderate improvement in sleep quality scores ([mean; ± 90% confidence limits] −24.8%; ± 54.1%) and small to moderate increases in total sleep time (6.3%; ± 6.3%) and time in bed (7.3%; ± 3.6%). In addition, a small decrease in cortisol (−18.7%; ± 26.4%) and mean reaction times (−4.3%; ± 3.1%) was observed following the intervention, compared to the control. (4) Conclusions: Professional rugby players are at risk of poor sleep during pre-season training, with concomitant rises in physical stress. Implementing a sleep extension programme among professional athletes is recommended to improve sleep, with beneficial changes in stress hormone expression and reaction time performance. View Full-Text
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Swinbourne, R.; Miller, J.; Smart, D.; Dulson, D.K.; Gill, N. The Effects of Sleep Extension on Sleep, Performance, Immunity and Physical Stress in Rugby Players. Sports 2018, 6, 42.
Swinbourne R, Miller J, Smart D, Dulson DK, Gill N. The Effects of Sleep Extension on Sleep, Performance, Immunity and Physical Stress in Rugby Players. Sports. 2018; 6(2):42.Chicago/Turabian Style
Swinbourne, Richard; Miller, Joanna; Smart, Daniel; Dulson, Deborah K.; Gill, Nicholas. 2018. "The Effects of Sleep Extension on Sleep, Performance, Immunity and Physical Stress in Rugby Players." Sports 6, no. 2: 42.
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