Relationship between Workload, Psychological State and Sleep in Female Soccer Athletes

Int J Sports Med. 2024 Apr 10. doi: 10.1055/a-2304-3694. Online ahead of print.


This study assessed the multifaceted relations between measures of workload, psychological state, and recovery throughout an entire soccer season. A prospective longitudinal study was utilized to measure workload (GPS training load, RPE), psychological state (mental stress, mental fatigue, and mood), and recovery (sleep duration, sleep quality, and soreness), across ninety observations. Separate linear-mixed effect models were used to assess outcomes of RPE, soreness, and sleep duration. A linear mixed-effects model explained 59% of the variance in RPE following each session. Specifically, each standard deviation increase in GPS load and mental stress in the morning prior to training increased RPE by 1.46(SE=0.08) and 0.29(SE= 0.07) respectively, following that day's training. Furthermore, a significant interaction was found between several predictor variables and chronological day in the season while predicting RPE. Specifically, for each standard deviation increase in GPS load, RPE went up by 0.055 per day across the season suggesting that load had a higher impact on RPE as the season progressed. In contrast, the interaction of day by mental stress, sleep duration, and soreness continued to be stronger as the season progressed. Each linear mixed-effect model predicted a larger amount of variance when accounting for individual variations in the random effects.