Can Sleep Be Used as an Indicator of Overreaching and Overtraining in Athletes CQU.pdf (249.11 kB)

Can sleep be used as an indicator of overreaching and overtraining in athletes?

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posted on 2022-08-19, 02:55 authored by Antonio LastellaAntonio Lastella, Grace VincentGrace Vincent, R Duffield, Gregory RoachGregory Roach, SL Halson, Luke HealesLuke Heales, Charli SargentCharli Sargent
To achieve optimal athletic performance and competition readiness, it is crucial to balance the highest appropriate training stimulus with sufficient recovery. Excessive and/or progressive increases in training load are integral to improving athletic performance (Halson, 2014). However, increased training loads and/or inadequate recovery can result in maladaptation to training, and if continued, can lead to the development of overreaching/overtraining (Meeusen et al., 2013; Cadegiani and Kater, 2017). In terms of recovery, sleep is an essential component of an athlete’s recuperation due to its physiological and psychological restorative effects (Dinges et al., 1997; Pejovic et al., 2013). Sleep quantity and quality declines following augmented increases (+30%) in training load (Hausswirth et al., 2014), and poor sleep is a common complaint among overreached and/or overtrained athletes (Wall et al., 2003). Regardless of whether reduced sleep is a cause or effect of overreaching and/or overtraining, it is possible that measures of sleep could serve as an indicator of the presence of overreaching and/or overtraining. This opinion article will examine the current research underpinning the relationship between insufficient sleep and the development of overreaching/overtraining, describe the implications for practitioners (e.g., sport and exercise scientists, coaches), and identify areas for future research.




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Frontiers Media

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Peer Reviewed

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  • Yes

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External Author Affiliations

University of Technology Sydney; Australian Institute of Sport

Author Research Institute

  • Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

  • Yes


Frontiers in Physiology