Vigorous evening exercise not detrimental to sleep quality

January 15, 2014 by Min Song, Science Network WA
Vigorous evening exercise not detrimental to sleep quality
“The desired outcome of the study was to provide more information to coaching staff about players’ sleep patterns after high-intensity training and the effect of CWI, performed post high-intensity exercise, on sleep"—Ms Robey. Credit: apasciuto

A paper published in the European Journal of Sport Science found early evening high-intensity training had no significant impact on sleep quality and quantity in elite youth soccer players.

Neither did cold water immersion (CWI), a method commonly used by athletes after training to quickly decrease their which may have spiked during exercise.

In the study, conducted by lead author Elisa Robey and colleagues at the UWA School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, 12 elite male youth soccer who normally employed CWI after training were asked to wear an actigraph (wrist activity monitor) while sleeping.

Using the wrist actigraphy, the players' bedtime, wake time, sleep duration, sleep onset latency (amount of time taken after going to bed, to fall asleep), the percentage of time spent asleep while in bed, and the amount of time spent awake after earlier having fallen asleep, were measured three nights a week over seven weeks.

After early evening training (TRAIN) the players woke up significantly later the next morning compared to when they had stayed home (HOME).

"It was encouraging to see that athletes utilised the rest day – the day after high-intensity evening training – to spend more time sleeping," Ms Robey says.

Also, on a TRAIN night, players went to bed later in the evening compared to a HOME night, and rated their levels of sleepiness at bedtime higher compared to when they had completed post-exercise CWI.

However, there was no significant overall difference in the and quantity measures between the TRAIN, TRAIN+CWI and HOME conditions, suggesting vigorous evening exercise might not necessarily make sleep difficult.

"The desired outcome of the study was to provide more information to coaching staff about players' sleep patterns after high-intensity training and the effect of CWI, performed post high-intensity exercise, on sleep," Ms Robey says.

"It would be unreasonable to look for alternatives to CWI on the basis of these results, as this research does not show any negative effect of CWI on sleep.

"[Other studies] also suggest that players don't necessarily have to avoid high-intensity training nights in order to get a good night's .

"However, if later training sessions are scheduled it is important to allow players to still gain the required amount of rest by not scheduling next day early sessions."

Explore further: Consistent bed time and wake time can mean healthier weight

More information: "Sleep quantity and quality in elite youth soccer players: A pilot study." Robey E, Dawson B, Halson S, Gregson W, Goodman C, Eastwood P. Eur J Sport Sci. 2013 Oct 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Related Stories

Consistent bed time and wake time can mean healthier weight

November 14, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Prior research has shown not getting enough sleep can impact your weight, but new BYU research finds the consistency of your bed time and wake time can also influence body fat. 

Improved sleep may improve exercise duration

August 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—The length of an individual's sleep appears to influence their participation level in exercise the next day, according to a small study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Cardiac patients benefit from home-based high intensity training

December 5, 2013
Rapid rehabilitation is a must after a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. Different forms of exercise as a part of rehabilitation have been examined by researchers, including high-intensity interval training (85-95 ...

How to get a great night's sleep: Could less mean more?

February 14, 2013
If you regularly struggle to fall asleep, it might be better to try and restrict rather than extend the amount of time you spend in bed.

Sleep tips for summer nights

July 8, 2013
(HealthDay)—Those extra hours of daylight in the summer contribute to sleep problems experienced by many Americans, experts say.

Late afternoon and early evening caffeine can disrupt sleep at night

November 14, 2013
A new study shows that caffeine consumption even six hours before bedtime can have significant, disruptive effects on sleep.

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.