Associations of Training and Academic Stress with Sleep in Dual-Career Collegiate Badminton Athletes: A Preliminary Study

Nat Sci Sleep. 2024 Jan 24:16:43-52. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S432475. eCollection 2024.

Abstract

Introduction: Poor sleep negatively impacts cognitive and physical functioning and affects athletic and academic achievement. "Dual-career" athletes emphasize the pursuit of academic excellence along with athletic performance.

Purpose: The study aimed to assess sleep characteristics and sleep quality in dual-career collegiate badminton athletes. Furthermore, the study explored associations between training and academic stress and sleep, providing a theoretical basis for better training and sleep programs for dual-career athletes.

Participants and methods: In this study, 15 dual-career collegiate badminton athletes were recruited, and 12 subjects (male n = 8, female n = 4, mean age 20.3 ± 1.7) completed the questionnaire. Repeated measurements were taken monthly in the spring semester from March to August 2021. The questionnaire assessed sleep quality and daytime sleepiness by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Epworth Sleepiness Score (ESS). Moreover, we collected average training, study time per week, and monthly sports competitions and academic tests to quantify participants' training and academic stress.

Results: An average of 36.1% of dual-career athletes reported poor sleep and 25.0% had excessive daytime sleepiness. Overall, a significant positive correlation existed between PSQI scores and weekly study hours (r = 0.308, p = 0.009). Significant positive correlations were found between the four stressors and PSQI (August: r = 0.868, p < 0.001; July: r = 0.573, p = 0.026) or ESS scores (March: r = -0.678, p = 0.015; August: r = 0.598, p = 0.040) for specific months. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analysis identified that lower study and training hours predict better sleep quality.

Conclusion: Dual-career collegiate badminton athletes had a higher prevalence of poor sleep and daytime sleepiness, and daytime sleepiness did not result in better sleep quality; study and training hours had the greatest effect on the sleep quality of dual-career collegiate badminton athletes.

Keywords: academic stress; dual-career collegiate athletes; sleep quality; subjective evaluation; training stress.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Open Project of State Key Laboratory of Basic and Applied Aerospace Medicine (SMFA20K04), and the Fundamental Research Business Expenses of the Central Universities (PD-GCZX002, PD-GCZX006, and 2022YB019).