The effect of interstate travel on the sleep patterns and performance of elite Australian Rules footballers

J Sci Med Sport. 2007 Aug;10(4):252-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2007.03.002. Epub 2007 May 23.


This study examined the effect of interstate travel on sleep patterns and game performance of elite Australian Rules footballers. Nineteen members of a Western Australian-based Australian Football League team participated in the study during the 2004 season. Sleep was assessed on the night before home and away games by measuring sleep duration (SLD), sleep efficiency (SLE), wake time (WT) and number of wakings (NW) via actigraphy. Subjective sleep quality was assessed using a sleep rating (SR) scale. Baseline sleep measurements were obtained over four consecutive non-game nights. Game performance was assessed using a coach's rating (CR) scale and impact ranking (IR) and by player statistics including frequency of possessions (P) and frequency of possessions and team assists (PTA). Compared to baseline, SLD was greater on the nights before home and away games (by 48 and 39 min, respectively, p<0.05). Other sleep measures were unchanged. Sleep rating was poorer before away than home games (p<0.05). CR and IR were greater during home than away games (p<0.05). All other measures of performance were similar at home and away. These results show that prior interstate travel has minimal effect on sleep quality and game performance in elite footballers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Football / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Travel / psychology*