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Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040822

Sleep and Nutrition Interactions: Implications for Athletes

1
Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, F92 FC93 County Donegal, Ireland
2
Sport Ireland Institute, National Sport Campus, Abbotstown, 15, D15 Y52H, Dublin, Ireland
3
Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, Northumbria University, Newcastle, NE1 8ST, UK
4
Health Research Institute, Schuman Building, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX County Donegal, Ireland
5
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX County Donegal, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Support for Athletic Performance)
PDF [374 KB, uploaded 11 April 2019]

Abstract

This narrative review explores the relationship between sleep and nutrition. Various nutritional interventions have been shown to improve sleep including high carbohydrate, high glycaemic index evening meals, melatonin, tryptophan rich protein, tart cherry juice, kiwifruit and micronutrients. Sleep disturbances and short sleep duration are behavioural risk factors for inflammation, associated with increased risk of illness and disease, which can be modified to promote sleep health. For sleep to have a restorative effect on the body, it must be of adequate duration and quality; particularly for athletes whose physical and mental recovery needs may be greater due to the high physiological and psychological demands placed on them during training and competition. Sleep has been shown to have a restorative effect on the immune system, the endocrine system, facilitate the recovery of the nervous system and metabolic cost of the waking state and has an integral role in learning, memory and synaptic plasticity, all of which can impact both athletic recovery and performance. Functional food-based interventions designed to enhance sleep quality and quantity or promote general health, sleep health, training adaptations and/or recovery warrant further investigation.
Keywords: sleep; athletes; chrononutrition. sleep; athletes; chrononutrition.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Doherty, R.; Madigan, S.; Warrington, G.; Ellis, J. Sleep and Nutrition Interactions: Implications for Athletes. Nutrients 2019, 11, 822.

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