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To nap or not to nap? A systematic review evaluating napping behavior in athletes and the impact on various measures of athletic performance

journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2021, 00:54 by Antonio LastellaAntonio Lastella, Shona L Halson, Jacopo A Vitale, Aamir R Memon, Grace VincentGrace Vincent
Purpose: The objective of this systematic review was to 1) determine how studies evaluated napping behavior in athletes (frequency, duration, timing and measurement); 2) explore how napping impacted physical performance, cognitive performance, perceptual measures (eg, fatigue, muscle soreness, sleepiness and alertness), psychological state and night-time sleep in athletes. Methods: Five bibliographic databases were searched from database inception to 11 August 2020. Observational and experimental studies comprising able-bodied athletes (mean age ≥12 years), published in English, in peer-reviewed journal papers were included. The Downs and Black Quality Assessment Checklist was used for quality appraisal. Results: Thirty-seven studies were identified of moderate quality. Most studies did not include consistent information regarding nap frequency, duration, and timing. Napping may be beneficial for a range of outcomes that benefit athletes (eg, physical and cognitive performance, perceptual measures, psychological state and night-time sleep). In addition, napping presents athletes with the opportunity to supplement their night-time sleep without compromising sleep quality. Conclusion: Athletes may consider napping between 20 to 90 min in duration and between 13:00 and 16:00 hours. Finally, athletes should allow 30 min to reduce sleep inertia prior to training or competition to obtain better performance outcomes. Future studies should include comprehensive recordings of nap duration and quality, and consider using sleep over a 24 hour period (daytime naps and night-time sleep period), specifically using objective methods of sleep assessment (eg, polysomnography/actigraphy).

History

Volume

13

Start Page

841

End Page

862

Number of Pages

22

eISSN

1179-1608

ISSN

1179-1608

Location

New Zealand

Publisher

Dove Medical Press

Publisher License

CC BY-NC

Additional Rights

CC BY NC 3.0

Language

eng

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

22/05/2021

External Author Affiliations

Peoples University of Medical & Health Sciences for Women, Pakistan; Australian Catholic University, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, Italy;

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Electronic-eCollection

Journal

Nature and Science of Sleep