Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/19030
Title: 
Authors: 
Supervisor: 
Chia, Michael
Issue Date: 
2017
Abstract: 
Adolescents are predisposed to later sleep and wake time preferences. These intrinsically biological-driven changes to sleep behaviour are in misalignment with daily academic schedules, and are exacerbated by cultural and environmental factors, resulting in less than optimal sleep durations. This truncation in adolescent sleep is more pronounced within Asia. Furthermore, high-level adult athletes have habitually shortened sleep opportunities, and experience different sleep characteristics due to training and competition. Consequently, these student-athletes voluntarily forgo sleep in order to manage their daytime commitments. Research on the impact of chronically shortened habitual sleep on the performance of adolescent student-athletes is lacking. To address this gap, a series of five studies examined (i) sleep characteristics of adolescent student athletes and its effects on psychomotor performance, (ii) the impact of sleep extension on performance and (iii) the impact of a brief afternoon nap on cognitive and sport performance.

In Study 1, the habitual sleep characteristics of 11 male adolescent athletes (14.8 ± 0.9 years) engaged in bowling and badminton were monitored over a week, using actigraphy. A sub-sample of the participants was monitored for their sleep patterns using electroencephalography on nights following sport-specific training in the afternoon. The athletes in badminton (high intensity sport) showed significantly more deep sleep, less light sleep and wake time after sleep onset. Actigraphically-determined bedtimes and wake times were significantly delayed on weekends when mean total sleep time was also significantly longer.

Study 2 employed a similar research design as Study 1, involved 29 male adolescent athletes (14.7 ± 1.3 years) but included a psychomotor vigilance task administered on weekdays to ascertain the effects of habitual sleep durations on performance. The accrued sleep debt resulting from the shortened habitual sleep opportunities resulted in faster reaction times on Monday than on Thursday and Friday, with reaction times on Tuesday also faster than on Friday. False starts and lapsed responses also were significantly greater on Friday compared to Monday.

Study 3 compared the effects of a restricted and unrestricted sleep schedule on the shooting and cognitive performance, and measures of sleepiness and fatigue in 24 adolescent shooters (12 male; 12 female; 14.1 ± 1.4 years). Performance assessments were conducted at the start and end of a 5-day training week under both conditions. Despite no statistically significant performance changes, the data indicated moderate-to-strong associations between increases in total sleep time and certain facets of marksmanship.

Studies 4 and 5 sought to investigate the sport-specific performance effect of a brief afternoon nap on male adolescent shooters (13.8 ± 1.0 years) and track & field (14.8 ± 1.1 years) student-athletes. The nap had no measurable effect on shooting performance. However, the fastest 20m sprint times increased significantly, with mean 2m times trending towards significance amongst the track & field athletes.

In summary, this Ph.D. research showed that adolescent athletes have suboptimal sleep for training and performance, sleep debt accumulated over days exacerbated psychomotor performance and that there is the potential for performance improvement in marksmanship following moderate sleep extension. Lastly, there were varying effects of a brief afternoon nap between shooting and sprinting performance measures, warranting further research on the dose-response effects of varying nap durations on multiple sport performance measures.
URI: 
Issued Date: 
2017
Call Number: 
RC547 Har
File Permission: 
Restricted
File Availability: 
With file
Appears in Collections:Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

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