Next Article in Journal
Effects of Anthocyanin on Intestinal Health: A Systematic Review
Next Article in Special Issue
Dietary Supplementation for Para-Athletes: A Systematic Review
Previous Article in Journal
Milk and Dairy Products: Good or Bad for Human Bone? Practical Dietary Recommendations for the Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Risk of Low Energy Availability in National and International Level Paralympic Athletes: An Exploratory Investigation

The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes

Sports Lab North West, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, F92 FC93 Donegal, Ireland
Sport Ireland Institute, National Sport Campus, Abbotstown, D15 PNON Dublin, Ireland
Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE7 7XA, UK
Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus, Walsall WV1 1LY, UK
Health Research Institute, Schuman Building, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giorgos K. Sakkas
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1330;
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 14 April 2021 / Accepted: 15 April 2021 / Published: 17 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance Nutrition in Diverse Populations)
Background: Athletes maintain a balance between stress and recovery and adopt recovery modalities that manage fatigue and enhance recovery and performance. Optimal TST is subject to individual variance. However, 7–9 h sleep is recommended for adults, while elite athletes may require more quality sleep than non-athletes. Methods: A total of 338 (elite n = 115, 74 males and 41 females, aged 23.44 ± 4.91 years; and sub-elite n = 223, 129 males and 94 females aged 25.71 ± 6.27) athletes were recruited from a variety of team and individual sports to complete a battery of previously validated and reliable widely used questionnaires assessing sleep, recovery and nutritional practices. Results: Poor sleep was reported by both the elite and sub-elite athlete groups (i.e., global PSQI score ≥5—elite 64% [n = 74]; sub-elite 65% [n = 146]) and there was a significant difference in sport-specific recovery practices (3.22 ± 0.90 vs. 2.91 ± 0.90; p < 0.001). Relatively high levels of fatigue (2.52 ± 1.32), stress (1.7 ± 1.31) and pain (50%, n = 169) were reported in both groups. A range of supplements were used regularly by athletes in both groups; indeed, whey (elite n = 22 and sub-elite n = 48) was the most commonly used recovery supplement in both groups. Higher alcohol consumption was observed in the sub-elite athletes (12%, n = 26) and they tended to consume more units of alcohol per drinking bout. Conclusion: There is a need for athletes to receive individualised support and education regarding their sleep and recovery practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleep; recovery; nutrition; alcohol; athletes sleep; recovery; nutrition; alcohol; athletes
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Doherty, R.; Madigan, S.M.; Nevill, A.; Warrington, G.; Ellis, J.G. The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1330.

AMA Style

Doherty R, Madigan SM, Nevill A, Warrington G, Ellis JG. The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1330.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Doherty, Rónán, Sharon M. Madigan, Alan Nevill, Giles Warrington, and Jason G. Ellis 2021. "The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes" Nutrients 13, no. 4: 1330.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop