Background Sleep has been found to have many recuperative and restorative effects on an athlete's recovery and preparation for a match. In international soccer it is common that players have to sleep in unfamiliar locations (e.g. hotel) prior to matches however little is known about the quality of sleep achieved in a hotel compared with at home.
Objective To assess the quality of sleep in elite women's international soccer players prior to a domestic international fixture in comparison to sleep at home.
Design Prospective observational study.
Setting Scotland women's soccer national squad.
Participants Elite women international soccer players.
Interventions 21 female international soccer player's sleep quality was monitored in the weeks before and during four different domestic international camps with the use of a mobile application that was filled out each morning immediately after awakening.
Main Outcome Measurements The sleep quality was assessed using a subjective 10-point scale with 1 being negative and 10 being positive. For differences in sleep quality, an independent t-test was used to compare means. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
Results There was no significant difference when comparing sleep quality at home with that of in a hotel in the lead up to a women's home international soccer match (7.44±1.32 vs. 7.36±1.16, p=0.39).
Conclusions The findings of the present study indicate that the subjective sleep quality of female soccer players is not reduced in a hotel prior to a domestic international match and is not compromising recovery and preparation for the match. Further research is required to determine whether this is the same for away international fixtures involving travel.