The effect of total sleep deprivation on executive functions in athletes

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


For athletes to perform at their best in sporting competitions, it is essential to reach an optimal competitive state (Lazarus, 2000). Athletes` sleep might be one aspect worth considering for an optimal competitive state since it plays a crucial role in their competition preparation and recovery strategy (Halson, 2013). It is, thus, not surprising that the quality and quantity of athletes` sleep influences their competitive performance (Bonnar et al., 2018). At the same time, recent reviews indicate that cognitive functions play a crucial role in competitive performance (Scharfen & Memmert, 2019). Especially executive functions seem to be able to explain athletic performance compared to basic cognitive functions (Kalén et al., 2021). However, research examining the influence of sleep deprivation on executive function in athletes has so far been neglected. Thus, we investigate the effect of total sleep deprivation on the executive functions of athletes in a cross-over design. Currently, we´re testing 52 athletes who will be sleep deprived for 24 hours. In order to examine the change in inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory capacity, as executive functions, the athletes will perform a peripheral Stroop task, a cognitive flexibility puzzle, and a Corsi block-tapping task, respectively, the morning before and after sleep deprivation. Furthermore, we´ll control for individual recovery and stress, actual mood, as well as subjective and objective measures of sleep quality and quantity. Based on previous research, we expect a decrease in executive functioning after 24 hours of sleep deprivation, compared to the control measures after a habitual night of sleep. Furthermore, we assume that these differences will be more pronounced in athletes with high levels of perceived stress (Shields et al., 2016). Our findings will be presented and discussed regarding potential indications of how sleep deprivation affects athletic performance.
TitelHuman Performance - Assessment, Intervention & Analysen : Abstractband zur 55. Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportpsychologie (asp)
Herausgeber*innenNadja Schott, Heide Korbus, Thomas Klotzbier
Herausgeber (Verlag)Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft (dvs)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 05.2023
VeranstaltungJahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportpsychologie: Human Performance - Assessment, Intervention & Analysen - Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Deutschland
Dauer: 18.05.202320.05.2023