Taylor, S. R., Rogers, G. G., & Driver, H. S. (1997). Effects of training volume on sleep, psychological, and selected physiological profiles of elite female swimmers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29, 688-693.

Sleep and psychological changes in female swimmers (N = 7) were examined across a competitive swimming season. Full analyses were performed at season onset, peak training, and taper. A daily sleep diary was completed each day of the study.

Sleep onset latency, time awake after sleep onset, total sleep time, and rapid eye movement sleep times were similar at all training stages. Slow wave sleep formed a very high percentage of total sleep at onset (26%) and peak (31%) training but was significantly reduced during taper (16%). This supports the theory that restorative slow wave sleep is reduced with reduced physical demand. The amount of movement during sleep was significantly higher during peak training volumes suggesting some sleep disruption.

In contrast to several other studies reported on mood disturbance and swimming, in this investigation mood actually deteriorated as training volume decreased. One explanation for this contradictory finding was that these Ss were not overtrained.

Implication. The nature of sleep is affected by training stress with increased stress resulting in increased slow wave sleep and body movements. However, since Ss in this study were not overtrained it is possible that different disruptions could occur in overtrained Ss.

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