Send to

Choose Destination
Physiol Behav. 2003 Feb;78(2):261-7.

A sedentary day: effects on subsequent sleep and body temperatures in trained athletes.

Author information

Centre for Sleep Research, Level 5, The Basil Hetzel Institute, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville Road, Woodville SA 5011, Australia.


Exercise effects on sleep in fit healthy people have been difficult to determine because their sleep is close to optimal, leaving little room for improvement. Another method for assessing exercise effects on sleep is to significantly reduce the degree of activity in highly active people. Fifteen trained athletes who exercised daily at a moderate to high intensity were employed. By requesting that subjects remain sedentary in the laboratory for an entire day, the effect of reduced exercise on subsequent sleep parameters was assessed. Sleep and temperature were recorded after a sedentary day and after a normal day of moderate to high activity (control condition) in a counterbalanced design. In the sedentary condition, slow-wave sleep (SWS) decreased by a mean of 15.5+/-7.0 min and slow-wave activity (SWA) differed significantly (P<.05) between conditions in the first hour of sleep only. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep increased by a mean of 17.9+/-5.7 min in the sedentary condition, while sleep onset latency (SOL) to Stages 1 and 2 increased by 10.2 and 10.7 min, respectively, and REM sleep latency decreased by 24.0+/-6.8 min (all P<.05). Between conditions, there was no overall effect on total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency, wake after sleep onset or core or foot temperatures (P>.05). With reduced exercise load, SWS pressure may have been reduced, resulting in lower levels of SWS and increased REM sleep. Thus, the data indicate that reducing exercise has significant effects on sleep that may have implications for athletes tapering for competition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center