Sleep restriction between consecutive days of exercise impairs sprint and endurance cycling performance

Publication Name

Journal of Sleep Research


The study aim was to determine the effect of sleep restriction (3 h) between consecutive days of exercise on sprint and endurance cycling performance, wellness, and mood. A total of 10 well-trained males performed 2 consecutive-day trials separated by a normal night sleep (control [CONT]; mean [SD] sleep duration 3.0 [0.2] h) or sleep restriction (RES; mean [SD] sleep duration 3.0 [0.2] h). Experimental trials included a 90-min fixed-paced cycling bout and the respective sleep conditions on Day 1, followed by two 6-s peak power (6-s PP) tests, a 4- and 20-min time trial (TT) on Day 2. Profile of Mood States (POMS) and wellness questionnaires were recorded on Day 1 and Day 2. Blood lactate and glucose, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion were recorded throughout Day 2. Power output (PO) was significantly reduced for RES in the 6-s PP trial (mean [SD] 1159 [127] W for RES versus 1250 [186] W for CONT; p = 0.04) and mean PO during the 20-min TT (mean [SD] 237 [59] W for RES versus 255 [58] W for CONT; p = 0.03). There were no differences for HR, lactate and glucose, or POMS between CONT and RES in all experimental trials (p = 0.05–0.89). Participants reported a reduction in overall wellness prior to exercise on Day 2 following RES (mean [SD] 14.5 [1.6] au) compared to CONT (mean [SD] 16 [3.0] au; p = 0.034). Sleep restriction and the associated reductions in wellness, reduce cycling performance during consecutive days of exercise in a range of cycling tests that are relevant to both track and road cyclists.

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