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Extended sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players
Date:6/30/2011

DARIEN, Ill. A study in the July 1 issue of the journal SLEEP shows that sleep extension is beneficial to athletic performance, reaction time, vigor, fatigue and mood in collegiate basketball players. The study is the first to document sleep extension and the athletic performance of actively competing athletes.

Results of objective measurements show that the mean total sleep time per night during sleep extension was 110.9 minutes longer than at baseline. Indices of athletic performance specific to basketball were measured after every practice to assess changes in performance. Speed during 282-foot sprints improved significantly from 16.2 seconds at baseline to 15.5 seconds after sleep extension, and shooting accuracy increased significantly by nine percent on both free throws and three-point field goals. Subjects also reported improved overall ratings of physical and mental well-being during practices and games.

"Following multiple weeks of sleep extension, elite athletes demonstrated improvements in specific indicators of basketball athletic performance including higher shooting percentages and faster sprint times," said lead author Cheri D. Mah, MS, researcher at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory in Stanford, Calif. "Subjects also demonstrated faster reaction time, decreased levels of daytime sleepiness, and mood improvements."

The study involved 11 healthy students on the Stanford University men's varsity basketball team and was conducted during two basketball seasons from 2005 to 2008. Participants had a mean age of 19 years and an average height of about six feet and four inches. Eight of the players were guards, two were forwards and one was a center.

Total sleep time was measured objectively by actigraphy. The players maintained their habitual sleep-wake schedule for a baseline period of two to four weeks during the NCAA basketball season, sleeping for an average of less than seven hou
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Contact: Emilee McStay
emcstay@aasmnet.org
630-737-9700 x9329
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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