Evaluation of a Brief Sleep Intervention Designed to Improve the Sleep, Mood, and Cognitive Performance of Esports Athletes

Daniel Bonnar, Sangha Lee, Brandy M. Roane, Daniel J. Blum, Michal Kahn, Eunhee Jang, Ian C. Dunican, Michael Gradisar, Sooyeon Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluated a brief sleep intervention designed to improve the sleep, mood, and cognitive performance of professional electronic sports (esports) athletes from three major esports regions (i.e., Asia, North America, and Oceania). Fifty-six esports athletes from South Korea (N = 34), the United States (N = 7), and Australia (N = 15) completed the study. Participants completed an initial 2-week pre-intervention phase to establish a baseline, followed by a 2-week intervention phase that involved a group sleep education class, 1:1 session with a trained clinical psychologist, and daily biofeedback. A wrist activity monitor and daily sleep diary were used to monitor sleep during both phases, while at pre-and post-intervention, participants completed a battery of sleep and mood questionnaires and underwent cognitive performance testing. Sleep knowledge increased from pre-to post-intervention (d = 0.83 [95% CI −1.21, −0.43], p =< 0.001), while there were modest improvements in sleep diary estimates (i.e., sleep onset latency (Mdiff = −2.9 min, p = 0.02), sleep onset time (Mdiff = −12 min, p = 0.03), and sleep efficiency (Mdiff = 1.1%, p = 0.004)) and wrist activity monitor estimates (i.e., sleep onset time (Mdiff = −18 min, p = 0.01)). Insomnia severity scores decreased significantly (d = 0.47 [95% CI 0.08, 0.84], p = 0.001), while sleepiness scores increased but not meaningfully (d = 0.23 [95% CI −0.61, 0.14], p = 0.025). However, there was no significant change in mood (i.e., depression and anxiety) or cognitive performance scores (i.e., mean reaction time or lapses). Sleep interventions for esports athletes require further investigation. Future research should examine whether a stepped-care model, whereby increasing therapeutic input is provided as needed, can optimize sleep, mood, and cognitive performance outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4146
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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