Sleep characteristics and mood of professional esports athletes: A multi-national study

Sangha Lee, Daniel Bonnar, Brandy Roane, Michael Gradisar, Ian C. Dunican, Michele Lastella, Gemma Maisey, Sooyeon Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Esports is becoming increasingly professionalized, yet research on performance management is remarkably lacking. The present study aimed to investigate the sleep and mood of professional esports athletes. Participants were 17 professional esports athletes from South Korea (N = 8), Australia (N = 4), and the United States (N = 5) who played first person shooter games (mean age 20 ± 3.5 years, 100% male). All participants wore a wrist-activity monitor for 7–14 days and completed subjective sleep and mood questionnaires. Participants had a median total sleep time of 6.8 h and a sleep efficiency of 86.4% per night. All participants had significantly delayed sleep patterns (median sleep onset 3:43 a.m. and wake time 11:24 a.m.). Participants had a median sleep onset latency of 20.4 min and prolonged wake after sleep onset of 47.9 min. Korean players had significantly higher depression scores compared to the other groups (p < 0.01) and trained longer per day than the Australian or United States teams (13.4 vs. 4.8 vs. 6.1 h, respectively). Depression scores were strongly correlated with number of awakenings, wake after sleep onset, and daily training time (p < 0.05). As the first pilot sleep study in the esports field, this study indicates that esports athletes show delayed sleep patterns and have prolonged wake after sleep onset. These sleep patterns may be associated with mood (depression) and training time. Sleep interventions designed specifically for esports athletes appear warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number664
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


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