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Pre-Race Sleep Management Strategy and Chronotype of Offshore Solo Sailors

Authors Filardi M, Morini S, Plazzi G

Received 5 December 2019

Accepted for publication 5 March 2020

Published 4 May 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 263—269


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sutapa Mukherjee

Marco Filardi,1 Silvia Morini,1 Giuseppe Plazzi1,2

1Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM), University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; 2IRCCS, Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna, AUSL di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence: Giuseppe Plazzi
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM), University of Bologna, Via Altura n° 3, Bologna 40139, Italy
Tel +39 051 4966929
Fax +39 051 4966176

Purpose: To evaluate chronotype and the sleep management strategy adopted by sailors before the offshore solo sailing race “Mini Transat La Boulangère”. As secondary aim, we assessed whether adopting pre-race sleep management strategy influences performance at race.
Materials and Methods: Forty-two solo sailors completed questionnaires on sleep quality, sleepiness, chronotype and an ad hoc questionnaire on the pre-race sleep management strategy adopted. Arrival times, separately for each race’s leg, were provided by the race organization team.
Results: Solo sailors present mainly with a morning-type (40%) and intermediate-type (60%) chronotype, while none have an evening-type chronotype. Fifty-five percent of sailors adopted pre-race sleep management strategy. Sailors that adopted strategy have travelled more miles in offshore compared to sailors that did not adopt strategy (p< 0.05). Significant differences emerged in rMEQ scores, with sailors that adopted strategy presenting lower score compared to sailors that did not adopt sleep strategy (p< 0.05), as well as in chronotype distribution with morning-type sailors that are less likely to adopt pre-race sleep management strategy compared to intermediate type sailors (p< 0.05). No differences emerged in final arrival times and in arrival time at leg1 and leg2. The most commonly adopted strategy (52% of sailors) consists of sleep extension, followed by the polyphasic sleep (26%), and sleep deprivation (22%) strategy. Sailors trained in polyphasic sleep have higher ESS than sailors trained in sleep deprivation (p< 0.05).
Conclusion: Morning-type chronotype is overrepresented in this large cohort of solo sailors compared to the general population; moreover, chronotype seems to influence the adoption of sleep management strategy. A little over half of solo sailors participating in the Mini Transat trained in sleep management strategy before the race; however, neither the general adoption of pre-race sleep management strategy nor the adoption of a specific sleep strategy seems to significantly influence final arrival times.

Keywords: sleep, solo sailing, chronotype, sport medicine, training

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