Sleep characteristics, sources of perceived stress and coping strategies in adolescent athletes

Melissa Skein, Tristan Harrison, Deborah Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to examine sleep characteristics, scheduling of activities, perceived stress and coping strategies between periods of perceived high and low scheduling commitments in adolescent athletes. Twenty adolescents (10 male and 10 female) wore an Actiwatch during two 14-day testing periods, one in in January (JAN), which was deemed to be a period of low school and sport commitments, and one in March (MAR), during which there was a high volume of school and sport commitments. Actiwatches and sleep diaries assessed sleep quantity and quality, a daily schedule of all activities in 30-min increments was recorded and questionnaires related to perceived stress and coping strategies were administered. Time in bed and asleep, latency, efficiency and number of awakenings were not different between JAN and MAR (p > 0.05). Sleep durations were lower than their age-related recommendations (JAN 449 ± 47 min versus MAR 437 ± 31 min). Examination of differences between sexes showed shorter latency and higher sleep efficiency in female participants compared with male participants. Participants spent more time at school, completing homework, and travelling to and competing in sport, with reduced time spent on resting, social activities, physical activity and meal times during MAR compared with JAN (p < 0.05). Finally, stress levels were significantly increased during MAR compared with JAN, with no difference between sexes (p < 0.05). Adolescent athletes not attaining sufficient sleep quantity or quality during periods of low and high school and sport commitments, are experiencing increased perceived stress during these busy times but are using a wider range of coping strategies during this time.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12791
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 Dec 2018


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