Wake Up Call For Collegiate Athlete Sleep: Narrative Review And Consensus Recommendations From The NCAA Interassociation Task Force On Sleep And Wellness
Sleep is an important determinant of collegiate athlete health, well-being and performance. However, collegiate athlete social and physical environments are often not conducive to obtaining restorative sleep. Traditionally, sleep has not been a primary focus of collegiate athletic training and is neglected due to competing academic, athletic and social demands. Collegiate athletics departments are well positioned to facilitate better sleep culture for their athletes. Recognising the lack of evidence-based or consensus-based guidelines for sleep management and restorative sleep for collegiate athletes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association hosted a sleep summit in 2017. Members of the Interassociation Task Force on Sleep and Wellness reviewed current data related to collegiate athlete sleep and aimed to develop consensus recommendations on sleep management and restorative sleep using the Delphi method. In this paper, we provide a narrative review of four topics central to collegiate athlete sleep: (1) sleep patterns and disorders among collegiate athletes; (2) sleep and optimal functioning among athletes; (3) screening, tracking and assessment of athlete sleep; and (4) interventions to improve sleep. We also present five consensus recommendations for colleges to improve their athletes’ sleep.