Sleep Data, Physical Performance, and Injuries in Preparation for Professional Mixed Martial Arts

Sports (Basel). 2018 Dec 20;7(1):1. doi: 10.3390/sports7010001.


The purpose of this investigation is to present observational data regarding sleep variables in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. These sleep performance measures were related to physical performance and injury in MMA athletes. Eight professional athletes were placed into a quasi-controlled, multivariable fight-camp environment for a six-week period in preparation for fight competition. Throughout a six-week fight camp environment, athletes were continuously monitored for sleep performance measures (sleep latency, sleep efficiency, onset, and wake variances) via validated wearable sleep monitoring technology. Athletes were tested seven days prior to competition on measures of physical performance (vertical jump, VO₂max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, and pull-ups). Multiple correlational analyses were utilized to assess relationships between all sleep and physical performance measures. There were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep latency and VO₂max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, vertical jump, and missed practice sessions. There were also significant (P < 0.05) correlations between average fall asleep time and heart rate recovery. Lastly, there were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep efficiency, heart rate recovery, and missed practice sessions. MMA athletes who exhibited consistency in sleep demonstrated stronger relationships with performance testing during the fight-camp period.

Keywords: health; injury; mma; professional athlete.