Abby Bretzin

Self-reported Habitual Sleep Patterns among Collegiate Athletes

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Abigail Bretzin, Epidemiology


A Bretzin1, J Weeks2, C Walts2, B D'Alonzo1, D Wiebe1

  1. Penn Injury Science Center, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics
  2. Penn Athletics, Sports Performance


Background: Fewer than 30% of college students meet nightly sleep recommendations (7-9 hours). Sleep and its implications for student-athletes specifically is limited to cross-sectional surveys.

Objective: Describe the feasibility of monitoring self-reported sleep quantity and habitual sleep patterns in a collegiate student-athlete cohort.

Methods: We monitored self-reported sleep using a prospective cohort study with a daily performance tracking application (TEAMBUILDR). Each day, over 54 days, the application prompted student-athletes to record the total sleep hours obtained in the previous 24 hours. To determine the feasibility of daily self-reported habitual sleep monitoring in this setting, we did not offer remuneration.

Results: Sixty-seven student-athletes on x sports teams (male: 55.2%, n=37) provided 1,860 responses (male: 41.2%, n=767). Response frequency ranged from 1-54 days, with a median of responding on 53.8% (interquartile range[IQR]: 24.5-88.7) of days. Males’ median days responding was 35.8% (IQR: 13.2-62.3%); females’ was 81.9% (IQR: 55.3-94.4). Overall, 43.3% of student-athletes responded on at least 60% of days. The daily sleep in this cohort overall was 7.6±1.1 hours on average; males=7.7±1.1, females=7.5±1.1 hours daily. Approximately 15.1% (n=280/1,860) of reported sleep was shorter than the recommended hours. Collapsed within individuals, each student-athletes’ the median hours of sleep ranged from 6-9.5 hours/day.

Conclusions: Participation was variable, though most student-athletes reported their sleep on over half the days. Student-athletes reported generally obtaining the recommended total sleep, but sleep varied night-to-night. This study had a small sample and short observation period; however, these results suggest that studying habitual sleep in student-athletes is possible.


sleep, athlete, sleep hygiene

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