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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Jun 01

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12059-6


language: English

Complete sleep evaluation of top professional cross-country mountain bikers athletes

Lucas GARBELLOTTO 1, 2, 3 , Elisabeth PETIT 1, 2, Emmanuel BRUNET 3, Valérie GILLET 4, Hubert BOURDIN 5, Fabienne MOUGIN 1, 2

1 Research Unit EA3920 and Exercise Performance, Health, Innovation Platform, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comte, Besançon, France; 2 Sports Science Faculty, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comte, Besancon, France; 3 French Cycling Federation, Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France; 4 Sleep Medicine Center Ellipse, Besançon, France; 5 Research Unit EA481, Sleep Disorder Unit Hospital, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comte, Besançon, France


BACKGROUND: Despite growing interest in athletes’ sleep, few studies have focused on professional athletes, especially in individual sports. Moreover, limited investigations included female athletes. This study aims to evaluate sleep chronotype, as well as objective and subjective sleep characteristics in male and female professional cross-country mountain bikers.
METHODS: Thirteen athletes (7 males and 6 females) of the French national team took part in this study. The Chronotype was assessed by the Horne and Östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire and sleep by actigraphy for one month, by ambulatory polysomnography (PSG) for one night and by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
RESULTS: Most athletes (77 %) are classified as moderately morning type and a minority of athletes (23 %) are intermediate type. Athletes sleep on average 8 hours per night and during the night recorded by PSG, N3 and REM sleep stages represented 21.2 ± 3.4 % and 20.9 ± 3.1 % of the total sleep time, respectively. These good sleep parameters were confirmed by subjective data with 77 % good sleepers. Except the poorer subjective sleep quality in female athletes (5.7 ± 1.6) compared to male athletes (2.6 ± 1.7, p < 0.05), no significant sex difference was found for all characteristics evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS: The professional status of these athletes and the organization of mountain bike calendar may explain their good sleep characteristics.

KEY WORDS: Elite athletes; Mountain bike; Sleep; Polysomnography; Sleepiness; Actigraphy

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