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Subjective sleep quality, sleep complaints and sleepiness in elite athletes


Sleep with adequate duration and quality is vital for high performance athletes, because it acts in the process of physical and cognitive recovery, which ensures improved sports performance. In this way, it is essential to monitor the sleep of athletes to propose interventions that seek to improve it.


To describe the subjective quality of sleep, sleep complaints and sleepiness of elite athletes and to analyze the impact of complaints on sleep quality.


The sample consisted of 107 elite athletes (with or without disabilities), with an mean age of 29 ± 9 years. Data were collected online using the following questionnaires: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and Sleep Complaint Questionnaire (SCQ). However, 107 athletes answered to the SCQ, 62 athletes answered to the PSQI and 75 athletes answered to the ESS. Data were presented as mean and standard deviation, as well as absolute and relative frequency. In addition, simple linear regression was performed to analyze the impact of sleep complaints on sleep quality (PSQI).


It can be observed that 106 (99%) athletes had at least one sleep complaint, 26 (35%) had excessive sleepiness and 51 (82%) had poor sleep quality. The complaints with higher incidence were insufficient sleep (71; 66%), wake up during the night (69; 65%) awakenings at night (64; 60%), moving a lot during sleep (61; 57%). In the simple linear regression model, we observed R² = 0.367 (β = 3.881; p = 0.001), thereby, sleep complaints impact 37% on the athletes' sleep quality.


Elite athletes have poor sleep quality and possible sleep disorders due to the presence of complaints that they reported. From this, it is essential to monitor athletes' sleep to identify complaints, as they impact 37% on the sleep quality of this population and thus ensure the best sports performance.


Sleep; Sleep disorders; Athletes; Sports performance.


Área Clínica


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - Minas Gerais - Brasil


Lucas Alves Facundo, Marco Túlio de Mello, Fernanda Viegas, Luisa S. N. Freitas, Maicon Albuquerque, Andressa Silva