Søvn og påvirkning av menstruasjonssyklusen hos unge kvinnelige idrettsutøvere

Forskere fra NTNU, Universitetet i Bergen og Nasjonal kompetansetjeneste for søvnsykdommer har i denne studien undersøkt kjønnsforskjeller i søvn- og søvnstadier hos 37 menn og 19 kvinner, samt menstruasjonssyklusens påvirkning på søvn hos 15 kvinner. Søvn ble målt med en berøringsfri radar, og menstruasjonsblødning var selvrapportert. Kvinner rapportere dårligere subjektiv søvnkvalitet. Objektive målinger viste blant annet at kvinner hadde lengre total søvntid, kortere REM-latens og høyere søvneffektivitet enn menn. Resultatene viste variasjon i søvnstadier under menstruasjon, og funnene indikerer at menstruasjonssyklusen kan påvirke behovet for fysiologisk restitusjon. Kjønnsforskjellene i subjektive og objektive søvnparametre kan være relatert til idrettsutøvernes menstruasjonssyklus.

Sex differences in sleep and influence of the menstrual cycle on women's sleep in junior endurance athletes

Maria Hrozanova, Christian A Klöckner, Øyvind Sandbakk, Ståle Pallesen, Frode Moen

Studien er publisert i PLoS One

Previous research shows that female athletes sleep better according to objective parameters but report worse subjective sleep quality than male athletes. However, existing sleep studies did not investigate variations in sleep and sleep stages over longer periods and have, so far, not elucidated the role of the menstrual cycle in female athletes' sleep. To address these methodological shortcomings, we investigated sex differences in sleep and sleep stages over 61 continuous days in 37 men and 19 women and examined the role of the menstrual cycle and its phases in 15 women. Sleep was measured by a non-contact radar, and menstrual bleeding was self-reported. Associations were investigated with multilevel modeling. Overall, women tended to report poorer subjective sleep quality (p = .057), but objective measurements showed that women obtained longer sleep duration (p < .001), more light (p = .013) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM; hours (h): p < .001, %: p = .007), shorter REM latency (p < .001), and higher sleep efficiency (p = .003) than men. R2 values showed that sleep duration, REM and REM latency were especially affected by sex. Among women, we found longer time in bed (p = .027) and deep sleep (h: p = .036), and shorter light sleep (%: p = .021) during menstrual bleeding vs. non-bleeding days; less light sleep (h: p = .040), deep sleep (%: p = .013) and shorter REM latency (p = .011) during the menstrual than pre-menstrual phase; and lower sleep efficiency (p = .042) and more deep sleep (%: p = .026) during the follicular than luteal phase. These findings indicate that the menstrual cycle may impact the need for physiological recovery, as evidenced by the sleep stage variations. Altogether, the observed sex differences in subjective and objective sleep parameters may be related to the female athletes' menstrual cycle. The paper provides unique data of sex differences in sleep stages and novel insights into the role of the menstrual cycle in sleep among female athletes.