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Napping′s Impact on Alertness and Endurance Performance in Athletes: A Controlled Crossover Trial


Julia Whatley*

The study aims to investigate the influence of napping on wakefulness and endurance performance in athletes. Maintaining optimal levels of alertness and physical performance is crucial for athletes and napping has been proposed as a potential strategy to enhance these factors. In this study, a group of athletes participated in two experimental sessions separated by a washout period. During one session, participants were assigned to a 20-minute nap, while during the other session, they remained awake in a quiet restful state. Subjective measures of alertness, including self-reported sleepiness and fatigue, were collected before and after each intervention. Additionally, participants performed an endurance performance test after the intervention, involving a standardized cycling exercise. Performance metrics such as time to exhaustion and perceived exertion were recorded. Our results showed that athletes who underwent the 20-minute nap reported significantly improved subjective alertness and reduced feelings of fatigue compared to the awake rest condition. Furthermore, endurance performance, as indicated by longer time to exhaustion and lower perceived exertion, was significantly enhanced following the nap compared to the rest condition. These findings suggest that a short nap could effectively boost wakefulness and positively impact endurance performance in athletes. Incorporating napping into training regimens may offer a practical and efficient strategy for optimizing both alertness and physical capabilities among athletes.

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