Snoring and Insomnia – Neurocognitive Consequences in Professional Athletes

Thornton A, Maijer R, Schramm P. Snoring and Insomnia – Neurocognitive consequences in Professional Athletes. Sleep Medicine 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2017.11.960

Professional athletes often describe sleep maintenance insomnia. Resulting sleep deprivation can impact daytime performance, perception of effort, and cognitive function.  Neurocognitive domains including psychomotor speed, vigilant attention, and task-oriented, cognitive function are vulnerable to insomnia. We hypothesized that sleep-related disordered breathing (snoring) decreases neurocognitive performance in athletes.

The prevalence of sleep-related disordered breathing and insomnia complaints was high in this group of elite athletes. Subjective fatigue as well as insomnia-related symptoms positively correlates with sleep instability.  Results indicate that an inverse relationship exists between sleep-related disordered breathing and stable sleep and sleep-related disordered breathing and neurocognitive function.

Practical Significance:
Objective sleep metrics collected with ECG recordings and CPC-analysis can be useful and easily assessable modality for predicting sleep stability, sleep-related breathing disorder and neurocognitive function.

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Snoring and Insomnia – Neurocognitive Consequences in Professional Athletes