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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

THE EFFECT OF SLEEP EXTENSION ON PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE IN COLLEGIATE ATHLETES

Abstract

Sleep is critical to a human’s physiological and cognitive function, impacts daily routines and overall health. The average college student’s sleep schedule is impacted by academics, personal life and work schedules. Additionally, student athletes have to balance a rigorous class schedule with practice and games which often includes traveling to and from sport events. Athletes continually push the physiological limits of their bodies which can cause injuries. Sleep is an excellent way to recover, but is often disturbed when the person does not receive the correct amount of sleep or the quality of sleep is inadequate, thus influencing post-exercise (PER) recovery time. This study investigated the importance of sleep to an athlete and how an extension of sleep affects an athlete’s performance. The men’s and women’s soccer teams from Brewton-Parker College participated in this study. It was hypothesized that a sleep extension would have a positive impact on athlete performance. Athletes completed a course of regular sleep schedules followed by a sleep extension study. They were tested using a Sprint Test, a Ruler Drop Test and an Alternative Hand Wall Toss Test during both phases. Males: regular sleep schedule: average number of hours sleep per night: eight hours and 41 minutes; sleep extension schedule: nine hours and 46 minutes. Females: regular sleep schedule: nine hours and 55 minutes; sleep extension schedule: ten hours and 45 minutes. Equal variance independent t-tests using two tails were conducted. The only significant differences were for the Ruler Drop Test for females (p=0.0492) and the Sprint Test for males (p= 0.0497). For these results, the original hypothesis stated was accepted.

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