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Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between athlete burnout, insomnia and polysomnographic indices in young elite athletes

Gerber, Marcus, Best, Simon, Meerstetter, Fabienne, Isoard-Gautheur, Sandrine, Gustafsson, Henrik, Bianchi, Renzo, Madigan, Daniel J., Colledge, Flora, Ludyga, Sebastian, Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith and Brand, Serge (2018) Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between athlete burnout, insomnia and polysomnographic indices in young elite athletes. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

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Abstract

Few studies have examined the association between sleep and burnout symptoms in elite athletes. We recruited 257 young elite athletes (Mage=16.8 years) from Swiss Olympic partner schools. Of these, 197 were re-assessed six months later. Based on the first assessment, 24 participants with clinically relevant burnout symptoms volunteered to participate in a polysomnographic examination and were compared to 26 (matched) healthy controls. Between 12-14% of young elite athletes reported burnout symptoms of potential clinical relevance, whereas 4-11% reported clinically relevant insomnia symptoms. Athletes with clinically relevant burnout symptoms reported significantly more insomnia symptoms, more dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions, and spent less time in bed during weeknights (p<.05). However, no significant differences were found for objective sleep parameters. A cross-lagged panel analysis showed that burnout positively predicted self-reported insomnia symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions might be a promising measure to reduce subjective sleep complaints among young elite athletes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, [2018], https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/pdf/10.1123/jsep.2018-0083 © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.2018-0083
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF636 Applied psychology
School/Department: School of Sport
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3468

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