Does night training load affect sleep patterns and nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity in high-level female soccer players?

Costa, Júlio A., Brito, João, Nakamura, Fábio Y., Oliveira, Eduardo M., Costa, Ovidio P., and Rebelo, António N. (2019) Does night training load affect sleep patterns and nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity in high-level female soccer players? International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 14 (6). pp. 779-787.

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Purpose: To analyze whether exercise training conducted at night disturbs sleep and affects nocturnal cardiac autonomic control in high-level female athletes.

Methods: A total of 18 high-level female soccer players (mean [SD] age 20.4 [2.1] y) wore actigraphs and heart-rate (HR) monitors during night sleep throughout night training days (n = 8) and resting days (n = 8), for 3 consecutive weeks. This was a longitudinal study that measured internal training load, sleep, nocturnal cardiac autonomic activity, and well-being ratings prior to training sessions.

Results: Training load varied across training days (eg, training impulse range, mean [SD]; effect size, ES [95% confidence interval]: 72.9 [18.8] to 138.4 [29.6] a.u.; F₄,₆₂ = 32.331;η²ₚ = .673 [.001-.16], large effect; P<.001). However, no differences in subjective well-being ratings were observed, although ES was large. Total sleep time (training days vs resting days: 07:17 [00:47] h vs 07: 51 [00: 42] h; ES = 0.742 [0.59-0.92], P=.005; moderate effect) and sleep-onset time (00: 58 [00:19] h vs 00:44 [00:16] h; ES = 0.802 [0.68-0.94], P=.001; moderate effect) were negatively affected after night training. In addition, small effects were detected for wake-up time, time in bed, and sleep latency (P>.05). No differences were detected in HR variability during sleep (range of lnRMSSD: 4.3 [0.4] to 4.5 [0.4] ln[ms] vs 4.6 [0.3] to 4.5 [0.4] ln[ms]; F₃,₅₂ = 2.148; P>.05; η²ₚ=.112 [.01-.25], medium effect), but HR during sleep was significantly higher after training days (range of HR: 56 [4] to 63 [7] beats/min vs 54 [4] to 57 [6] beats/min; F₂,₃₂ = 15.956; P<.001; η²ₚ=.484 [.20-.63], large effect).

Conclusion: Overall, the results indicate that exercise training conducted at night may disturb sleep and affect HR, whereas limited effects can be expected in HR variability assessed during sleep in high-level female soccer players.

Item ID: 59974
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1555-0273
Keywords: accelerometer, autonomic nervous system, football, heart-rate variability, recovery
Copyright Information: © 2019 Human Kinetics
Funders: International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), Federation Internationale de Football Association, Fundaijao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT)
Projects and Grants: CIES FIFA Research Scholarship 2017, FCT Doctoral grant SFRH/BD/128531/2017
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 07:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 100%
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