1. Athletes randomized to partial sleep deprivation demonstrated a quicker time to exhaustion affecting their overall physical performance in running exercises.
2. Sleep deprived athletes did not differ significantly from the control group in terms of maximal voluntary isometric contraction after performing strength exercises.
Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)
Sleep deprivation is known to limit recovery, thus affecting physical performance as early as the following day. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in athletes, who are commonly required to perform strenuous exercise, often on consecutive days. There is a paucity in research in this population to determine the impact of sleep deprivation after exercise.
This randomized controlled trial enrolled 11 male athletes who followed a regular sleep schedule to examine the effect of partial sleep deprivation (PSD) after exercise, on exercise performance and metabolic responses the next morning. Participants were randomized to either control (slept from 23:00-07:00) or PSD (normal sleep duration was shortened by 40%). Participants first completed an exercise protocol on day one. The following morning, maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC), physiological measures after a 20 min submaximal run at 75% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and time to exhaustion (TTE) at 85% VO2max were assessed.
Results demonstrated a significant decrease in carbon dioxide output (VCO2) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in PSD participants compared to control after a 20 min submaximal run at 75% VO2max. Furthermore, TTE was significantly shorter in the PSD group compared to control at 85% VO2max. However, MVC and oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics did not differ significantly between the two groups on day two. Limitations of this study include lack of objective measurements of muscle glycogen content and of overall sleep quality. There were also no female participants which limits generalizability of results. Nonetheless, the findings of this study are significant and suggest the benefit of flexible training programs in the instance of sleep deprivation.
©2021 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.