Joshua T. Goldman, Brian Donohoe, Nicolas Hatamiya, Nelson F. Boland, Jeremy Vail, Kristen E. Holmes, David Presby, Jeongeun Kim, Calvin Duffaut

Baseline Sleep Characteristics in NCAA Division I Collegiate Athletes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Objective: The authors report no conflicts of interest. To determine baseline sleep characteristics of male/female student-athletes across multiple sports using objective and subjective measures. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Division I college. Participants: Eighty-two male and female Division I student-athletes. Interventions: Participants completed 2 validated sleep questionnaires (Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS] and Single-Item Sleep Quality Scale [SISQS]) to assess subjective sleep. They also wore a validated sleep monitoring device (WHOOP 4.0 band) for at least 14 nights to collect objective data on total sleep time (TST) and sleep architecture. Main Outcome Measures: Overnight sleep variables, including TST, time spent awake in bed after falling asleep, time spent in light sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and slow-wave sleep (SWS) cycles. Sleep quality and daytime sleepiness were also assessed. Results: There were no statistical differences between male and female student-athletes in average TST, sleep architecture, sleep consistency, SISQS, and ESS scores. The average TST was 409.2 ± 36.3 minutes. Sleep architecture consisted of 25.6% REM, 19.9% SWS, and 54.4% light sleep. The average sleep consistency was 61.6% ± 8.9%. The average SISQS score was 6.48 ± 1.71, and the average ESS score was 7.57 ± 3.82. A significant difference was found in average wake time between males and females (55.0 vs 43.7 min, P = 0.020), with an overall average of 50.2 ± 16.2 minutes. Conclusions: College student-athletes do not typically obtain the recommended amount of sleep. Optimizing sleep can positively affect academic and athletic performance.

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