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Are Phones Affecting Athletes' Sleep?

Here's an interesting question: Can we improve an athlete's performance by taking away their phone at

Swimming In Research

March 6 · Issue #6 · View online
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Here’s an interesting question: Can we improve an athlete’s performance by taking away their phone at night? That’s the question the authors of the paper below tried to answer.

The idea here is that if the usage of personal electronics at night goes down, time in bed should go up along with sleep duration & sleep efficiency. The opposite could also happen: as phone usage is restricted anxiety increases because of nomophobia (fear of being without access to a working cell phone) and sleep quality could go down.
  • This first study included 26 water polo players (ages 15-20) at a training camp in Canberra, Australia.
  • The second study included 23 triathletes (ages 16-18) at a training camp on the Gold Coast, Australia
  • The athletes were allowed to choose their own bedtimes and there were no restrictions on caffeine or training supplements.
  • No electronic devices were allowed in the bedroom, but they had access to a TV in a common living room.
  • Because of the different layout of the camps water polo players slept in single bedrooms while triathletes shared a bedroom with one or two other athletes.
  • All participants in the study wore a wrist activity monitor to help evaluate sleep. When trying to fall asleep they pressed a button on the tracker and again after waking up in the morning.
  • Both training camps had similar results which suggest that removing electronic devices is an ineffective means of increasing sleep duration and sleep efficiency
  • Cognitive performance was also unaffected
  • Factors that may have affected results are sleeping away from home, increased training loads, anxiety, etc…
Influence of Electronic Devices on Sleep and Cognitive Performance During Training Camps
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