PubMed | Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland, a Oivauni Sleep Clinic, f Mehilainen Clinical Hospital and c Terveystalo Clinical Hospital
Type: | Journal: Journal of sports sciences | Year: 2016
Sleep disorders have become increasingly prevalent affecting health and working ability. Restorative sleep may be considered important for athletes successful recovery and performance. However, some athletes seem to experience major problems in sleeping. Thus far, there is limited scientific information about their sleep. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of sleep and the prevalence of sleep disorders as well as the impact of a structured sleep counselling protocol in professional athletes. A total of 107 professional ice hockey players participated in the study. The exploratory observational 1-year follow-up study consisted of questionnaire-based sleep assessment followed by general sleep counselling and, when needed, polysomnography and an individual treatment plan. One in every four players was found to have a significant problem in sleeping. All athletes considered sleep essential for their health and three in every four players considered that counselling would improve their performance. Counselling and individual treatment were found to improve significantly the quality of sleep with the mean alteration of 0.6 (95% CI 0.2-1.0, P=0.004) in a scale from 0 to 10. Our results support that sleep problems are common in professional athletes. However, systematic examination, counselling and individual treatment planning can improve the quality of their sleep.