Does Sleep Quality between Back-to-Back Matches Influence Running Performance in Canadian Female University Soccer Players? A GPS-based Time-Series Analysis

David Turczyn, Diana McMillan, Phillip F. Gardiner, Stephen M. Cornish


Background: Soccer competitions performed with less than or equal to 24 hours of recuperation, including inadequate amounts of quality sleep, may adversely affect performance. Objective: The purpose of this research was to assess running performance between self-reported good and poor sleepers in female university sport soccer players (N = 12) in matches played with ≤ 24 hours of recovery. Methods: In this cross-sectional and observational study, twelve female university soccer players (mean age: 19.44 + 1.69 yr) were followed throughout one season of competition using a time-series analysis of running performance and comparing good (n = 7) versus poor (n = 5) sleepers. Global positioning systems (GPS) were used to evaluate jogging/sprinting performance throughout the 2016 soccer season. Good and poor sleepers were determined via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Results: There was a significant reduction (p <.05) in running performance from the first to the second game in the entire cohort, while post hoc analysis indicated that good sleepers performed better on the relative speed performance parameter when comparing the first game to the second game; however, there was no change in this performance variable in the poor sleepers between the first and second game. Conclusions: Our study indicates that Canadian female university soccer players may need longer than 24 hours of recovery to perform optimally in subsequent matches. Generally, good and poor sleepers perform similarly except for GPS relative speed in back-to-back matches with 24 hours of recovery.


Running, Sleep, Athletic Performance, Sports, Sleep Hygiene, Recovery of Function

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