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Article

The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes

1
Sports Lab North West, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, F92 FC93 Donegal, Ireland
2
Sport Ireland Institute, National Sport Campus, Abbotstown, D15 PNON Dublin, Ireland
3
Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE7 7XA, UK
4
Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus, Walsall WV1 1LY, UK
5
Health Research Institute, Schuman Building, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
6
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041330
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
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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. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041330

AMA Style

Doherty R, Madigan SM, Nevill A, Warrington G, Ellis JG. The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1330. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041330

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041330

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