The 2021 Sleep4Performance Seminar

11/12 August 2021

hosted by Dr Ian C Dunican

Session 1


Bright light during wakefulness improves objective and subjective sleep quality: a forced desynchrony study
Under real life conditions, increased light exposure during wakefulness seems associated with improved sleep quality, quantified as reduced time awake during bed time, increased time spent in non-REM sleep or increased power in the EEG delta band (0.5–4 Hz). The causality of these important relationships and their dependency on circadian clock phase and/or time awake has not been studied in depth. To establish causality of light effects during wake time on subsequent sleep, and to disentangle possible circadian and homeostatic interactions, we employed a forced desynchrony (FD) protocol under dim light (6.5 lux) and bright light (1307 lux) during wakefulness.

Dr Jonathon Charest

Impacts of travel distance and travel direction on back-to-back games in the National Basketball Association (NBA)

Travel fatigue and circadian disruptions are known factors that can hinder performance in professional athletes. The present exploratory study focused on investigating the impact of travel distance and direction on back-to-back games over the 2013-2020 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Dr Madeline Sprajcer

Sleeping together: Understanding the association between relationship type, sexual activity, and sleep
Insufficient sleep and difficulties initiating sleep are prevalent in the community. Treatment for poor sleep typically consists of pharmacological intervention, or cognitive behavioural therapies – which can be both costly and time-consuming. Evidence suggests that sexual activities may positively impact sleep. However, little is known about relationship types, sexual activities, and perceived sleep outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore the association between relationship type (e.g., having a regular, occasional, or casual partner), sexual activity and satisfaction, and perceived sleep outcomes, to identify potential strategies to improve sleep.

DR Renske Lok

Gold, silver or bronze: circadian variation strongly affects performance in
Olympic athletes

The circadian system affects physiological, psychological, and molecular mechanisms in the body, resulting in varying physical performance over the day. The timing and relative size of these effects are important for optimizing sport performance. In this study, Olympic swim times (from 2004 to 2016) were used to determine time-of-day and circadian effects under maximal motivational conditions.

Session 2 - with Special Guests

Todd Dawson

Career overview, alternative work journeys in the sleep world
Todd Dawson is a Subject Matter Expert in Human Fatigue and Senior Fatigue Consultant for Caterpillar, Inc. Over the past 25 years, Todd has become one of the leading experts in developing and implementing comprehensive fatigue risk management systems in large and complex environments. He has extensive experience delivering fatigue solutions for hundreds of operations in mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation and across the oil and gas industry. More recently, Todd has supported the implementation and change management processes that maximize the introduction of fatigue management technologies and other disruptive technologies into operations. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University where he also played football and threw shotput on the track team. Todd lives in Massachusetts, loves freshwater fishing, riding motorcycles and spending time with his family.

Ven Dr Buddharakkhita

Mediation, Sleep and Recovery
Ven Dr Buddharakkhita, Irish born, BSc & PhD University College Dublin. Diploma in Buddhism ITBMU Myanmar. He enjoyed a successful engineering career in semiconductor chip fabrication. He has practised meditation extensively since childhood and was ordained in Theravada Buddhist Tradition in 2006. He has over two decades of training with renowned meditation masters. He has more than 30 years of experience living, working and practising meditation in Europe, the US, Asia and Australia.

Dr Adam Fletcher

Career overview, alternative work journeys in the sleep world

Dr Adam Fletcher is a scientist and advisor for government and industry, with a particular focus on occupational alertness, fatigue management, safety, and performance. He works across many domains including aviation & aerospace, corporate services, healthcare, insurance, mining, oil & gas and transport. Adam is the founder and CEO of a Melbourne-based company, Integrated Safety Support. He is also an Adjunct Professor (Level E) at the University of South Australia where he focusses on supporting early career researchers engaged in industry-related projects.

Session 3

Mitchell Turner

The impact of sleep wake behaviour on tennis match play performance in junior state grade tennis players
To date, no study has investigated how sleep wake behaviour (SWB) of junior tennis players influences their match performance. To understand how factors, such as SWB, impacts the match performance of junior tennis players we need to characterise it using match analytics and activity. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify the match analytics and activity of junior tennis players and then investigate the influence that SWB the week and night before has on match performance.

Tina Yan

Does Fibre-fix provided to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome who are consuming a low FODMAP diet improve their gut health, gut microbiome, sleep and mental health? A double-blinded, randomised controlled trial
A diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) is an effective way to reduce gut symptoms in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This diet reduces the intake of fermentable fibres, leading to changes of the gut microbiota and insufficient fermentation in the large bowel, resulting in reduced production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), such as butyrate, which has unfavourable implications for gut health, sleep and mental health. This study will examine the effect of Fibre-fix, a supplement containing a mix of dietary fibres, on the human gut microbiome composition, fermentative capacity, sleep, quality of life and mental health of people with IBS who consume a low FODMAP diet.

Michelle Biggins

Impact of long-haul travel, across multiple time-zones, on the sleep and recovery of elite male and female soccer athletes
To investigate the impact of eastward travel across seven time-zones on sleep, jetlag, and recovery in elite soccer athletes. Methods: Twenty-one male and 20 female athletes (21.5 ± 1.7 years) travelled from Ireland to Taiwan to represent their national team at the World University Games 2017. Daily monitoring via actigraphy and subjective sleep & wellbeing measures were obtained for one week in Ireland (baseline), and for the duration of an international soccer tournament.

Tim Smithies

The Effect of Sleep Restriction on Cognitive Performance in Elite Cognitive
Performers: A Systematic Review

Optimal cognitive performance is imperative for success or the avoidance of catastrophe during key tasks for Elite Cognitive Performers (ECPs; i.e. members of military, pilots, surgeons and other medical personnel, elite traditional and esport athletes and process operators within dangerous environments) during their work. Sleep is a particular focus for these groups due to the abundance of research demonstrating the adverse cognitive effects of sleep loss, in addition to the fact that many of these individuals are increasingly likely to experience Sleep Restriction (SR) compared to other populations. The objective of this review is to synthesise and summarise the current literature exploring the effects of SR on cognitive performance specifically in ECP populations.

Session 4

Tim Smithies

Around the world in 16 days: The effect of long-distance transmeridian travel on the sleep habits and behaviours of a professional Super Rugby team
Despite many national and international sporting competitions requiring long-distance transmeridian travel, there is a lack of current research examining its effect on athletes’ sleep. The aim of our research was thus to address this by objectively measuring the sleep behaviours of a Super Rugby team through one of the a period of consecutive weeks of long distance transmeridan travel and competition.

Dr Anshu Dwivedi

Early Impact of Lockdown on Daily Activity Behaviors and Sleep Pattern in Small Indian Population
Lockdown has resulted in unprecedented changes in daily behaviors including depression. We hypothesized that the lockdown would impact our daily behavior such as sleep-wake cycle, eating time, physical activities, work hours, sleep quality, etc. We also observed the depression among the population during the lockdown.

Ronan Doherty

The Sleep and Recovery Practices of Athletes
Athletes maintain a balance between stress and recovery and adopt recovery modalities that manage fatigue and enhance recovery and performance. Optimal TST is subject to individual variance. However, 7–9 h sleep is recommended for adults, while elite athletes may require more quality sleep than non-athletes.

Gemma Maisey

Digging for data: How sleep is losing out to roster design, sleep disorders, and lifestyle factors
Shiftwork is common to the mining industry as it enables a 24 h, 7 days a week, 365 days a year operation to meet customer demand. Shift workers are employed on a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) system, spending extended work periods away from their home environment (seven-day shifts and seven-night shifts). This may lead to sleep loss, reduced alertness, and potentially negatively impact their health and safety. This study aimed to (i) quantify and describe sleep behaviours of shift workers on a FIFO mining operation, (ii) determine the prevalence of risk for sleep disorders, and (iii) quantify estimated alertness across the roster schedule.