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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 Nov 11

language: English

Sleep recovery in participants after racing in the finnmarkslop – Europe’s longest dog-sled race

Calogiuri G. 1, Rossi A. 2, 3, Formenti D. 2, 3, Weydahl A. 3

1 Department of Dental Care and Public Health, Faculty of Public Health, Hedmark University College, Elverum, Norway;
2 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy;
3 School of Sport Sciences, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Alta, Norway


AIM: During the dog-sled race, the Finnmarkslop (FL), which lasts up to 7 days, participants get little sleep and what they get is fragmented; concerns have been raised about proper sleep recovery. The aim of this study was to examine awareness of sleep deprivation by FL participants and post-race sleep recovery after completion of the race.
METHODS: A total of 55 participants responded to an online survey 1 week and 1 month after the race; this measured the following factors: their awareness of sleep loss and possible strategies for recovery; their sleep–wake patterns using a Pittsburgh Sleep Questionnaire Index; and possible changes in respondents’ sleep–wake patterns compared with their regular routines.
RESULTS: During the FL, participants slept about 3–4 hours a day. Many were not aware of the accumulated sleep debt and did not engage in strategies to make up the loss. Insufficient levels of sleep and impoverished sleep quality were observed after the race, especially among those who were engaged in the FL for a longer period. Alertness levels were affected 1 week after the race.
CONCLUSIONS: Among participants in the FL, the lack of awareness of sleep debt and insufficient sleep recovery could lead to health consequences. Those engaged in the race for longer should be more cautious during the recovery process because of possible sleep problems occurring after the race. Educational campaigns and easy access to professional support should be provided for participants in this type of sporting event.

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