Chronic sleep loss affects physical performance resulting in decreased peak power, endurance performance, and decreased response speed.
A new study of elite male cyclists has found that restricting sleep to 4 hours a night decreased:
– energy expenditure during submaximal exercise by 3.9 percent;
– maximal aerobic power by 2.9 percent; and
– time to exhaustion by 10.7 percent (37 seconds).
Sleep restriction also decreased:
– submaximal heart rate;
– peak heart rate; and
– Psychomotor Vigilance Test response speed.
Lead researcher Cheri Mah of the University of California, San Francisco Human Performance Center said:
Our study is unique since we examined the relationship between sleep, physical performance, cognitive functioning, and physiology simultaneously.
The randomized crossover study involved 12 healthy elite male cyclists.
Sleep was restricted to 4 hours for three days or extended sleep to 10 hours for two weeks.
Outcome measures pre- and post-intervention included:
– a 20-minute submaximal test;
– a 1-minute incremental maximal exercise test;
– a maximal time to exhaustion test on a bicycle ergometer and metabolic collection system; and
– the Psychomotor Vigilance Test.
The study was presented at SLEEP 2016, the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).
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