Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of a late evening competition on sleep characteristics and perceived recovery in team-sport players using a validated self-applicable and portable polysomnographic device. Methods: Sixteen team-sport players (age: 25.4 [1.4] y; body mass index: 23.6 [0.5] kg/m(2)) completed the study. Objective and subjective sleep data were collected for 4 consecutive nights: 2 nights before (PRE2 and PRE1) and the 2 nights after an evening match (POST1), performed between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM. Total quality of recovery values were also collected in the morning. Results: A significantly delayed bedtime (P < .0001; eta(2)(p)= .68, large) was observed in the first night after the competition (2 h 29 min [1 h 15 min]) compared both to PRE2 (+88 min; P < .0001), PRE1 (+98 min; P < .0001), and POST1 (+100 min; P < .0001), and similar results were observed for wake-up time (P = .033; eta(2)(p) = .39, large): Players woke up significantly later in evening match (9 h 20 min [1 h 55 min]) compared with PRE2 (+85 min; P = .050) and POST1 (+85 min; P = .049). Conversely, total sleep time; sleep efficiency; sleep onset latency; wake after sleep onset; cortical arousals; N1, N2, N3, and REM (rapid eye movement) percentages; total quality of recovery values; and scores of subjective sleep quality did not vary among the 4 study nights. Conclusions: Team-sport players had delayed bedtime and wake-up time following an evening competition; however, sleep quality, duration, and subjective scores of recovery were not affected by the evening match. The delayed wake-up time seems to protect athletes' sleep efficiency/duration against the evening-match-induced delayed bedtime.
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