The Impact of Daytime Napping Following Normal Night-Time Sleep on Physical Performance: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis and Meta-regression

Omar Boukhris, Khaled Trabelsi, Haresh Suppiah, Achraf Ammar, Cain C T Clark, Haitham A Jahrami, Hamdi Chtourou, Matthew Driller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Daytime napping is used by athletes as a strategy to supplement night time sleep and aid physical performance. However, no meta-analytical overview regarding the impact of napping following a night of normal sleep (7-9 h) on physical performance is available.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of daytime napping following normal night-time sleep on physical performance in physically active individuals and athletes.

Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Seven electronic databases (i.e., PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, SCIELO, and EBSCOhost) were used to search for relevant studies that investigated the impact of daytime napping, following normal night-time sleep, on physical performance in physically active individuals and athletes, published in any language, and available before September 01, 2022. Studies that included assessments of any physical performance measures were included. QualSyst was used to assess the methodological quality of the studies.

Results: Of 18 selected articles, 15 were of strong quality and 3 were of moderate quality. Compared with no-nap conditions, physically active individuals and athletes who napped experienced an increase in highest distance (effect size [ES] 1.026; p<0.001) and total distance (ES 0.737; p<0.001), and a decrease in fatigue index (ES 0.839, p=0.008) during the 5-m shuttle run test (5MSRT). However, napping yielded no effect on muscle force (ES 0.175; p=0.267). No effect of napping was found in one study that measured sprint performance and in two studies that measured performance during the 30-s
Wingate test. Two of three studies reported an increase in jump performance after napping. Two of three studies reported an increase in repeated sprints after napping. One study reported an increase in upper-body power performance after napping, and napping was beneficial for endurance performance in one of two studies.

Conclusion: Following normal sleep, napping is beneficial for the performance of the 5MSRT, with no significant effect on muscleforce. No firm conclusions can be drawn regarding other physical performance measures due to the limited number of studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-345
Number of pages23
JournalSports Medicine
Volume54
Issue number2
Early online date12 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

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