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

rs per night. The following period of sleep extension lasted five to seven weeks, during which the participants obtained as much nocturnal sleep as possible with a minimum goal of 10 hours in bed per night. Objective mean total sleep time during sleep extension was nearly 8.5 hours per night.

Participants shot 10 free throws from 15 feet, making an average of 7.9 shots at baseline and 8.8 shots at the end of the sleep extension period. They also attempted 15 three-point field goals, making an average of 10.2 shots at baseline and 11.6 shots after sleep extension. The timed sprint involved running from baseline to half-court and back to baseline, then the full 94-foot length of the court and back to baseline. Reaction time, levels of daytime sleepiness, and mood were monitored using the Psychomotor Vigilance Task, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Profile of Mood States.

Mah said that she was especially intrigued to find that sleep extension was associated with improvements in diverse basketball skills.

"It was interesting to note that sleep extension significantly improved different measures of physical performance in basketball from shooting percentages to sprinting times," she said.

According to Mah, an athlete's nightly sleep requirement should be considered integral to attaining peak performance in all levels of sports. She offered these tips to help athletes improve their performance by maximizing their sleep:

  • Prioritize sleep as a part of your regular training regimen.
  • Extend nightly sleep for several weeks to reduce your sleep debt before competition.
  • Maintain a low sleep debt by obtaining a sufficient amount of nightly sleep (seven to nine hours for adults, nine or more hours for teens and young adults).
  • Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same times every day.
  • Take brief 20-30 minute naps to obtain additional sleep during the day, especially if
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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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