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Sleep Quality and Behavior in Paralympic Athletes


In the sports context, sleep is now considered an extremely important component to optimize sports performance and is already proposed as one of the effective physical and cognitive recovery strategies for athletes. However, Paralympic athletes seem to be more likely to have a low amount and quality of sleep due to the complexities associated with some disabilities.


This research aimed to investigate the sleep quality and behavior of Paralympic athletes.


Twenty-five Paralympic athletes (18 men and 07 women) participated in this study, 21 athletes with physical disabilities (PD) and 4 athletes with visual impairments (VI), who regularly train at the Sports Training Center in the city of Belo Horizonte, in Paralympic athletics, swimming, weightlifting and parataekwondo. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to assess sleep quality, and the Athlete Sleep Behavior Questionnaire (ASBQ) was used to assess the behavior. Data are presented as mean and standard deviation (±) and relative frequency (%) of responses.


The results indicate that, in general, Paralympic athletes have low quality of sleep according to the average PSQI Score of 7.5, and also, it can be observed that sleep efficiency was low (77%), with a increased sleep latency (30.4 min), and insufficient total sleep time (6h). When observing the subjective sleep parameters of athletes according to disability, we noticed that the sleep efficiency for PD was 78% and for VI 69%, in relation to sleep latency, the PD presented 31.9 min to initiate sleep and for VI it was 22.5 min. It can be observed that half of the Paralympic athletes have poor sleep hygiene behaviors (56%).


It can be concluded that most of the investigated Paralympic athletes have low sleep quality and inadequate sleep hygiene behaviors. Thus, sleep education measures should be carried out with the technical team and athletes, aiming to propose interventions to improve their sleep hygiene behavior and consequently its quality and quantity, and consequently optimize the physical and cognitive recovery of the athletes. Acknowledgments: We would like to thank the Centro de Treinamento Esportivo (CRPB/CTE/UFMG), Centro de Estudos em Psicobiologia e Exercício, Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa and PPG em Ciências do Esporte (UFMG), Secretaria Nacional de Esporte de Alto Rendimento do Ministério da Cidadania (SNEAR/SEESP/MC - 71000.056251/2020-49), CAPES, CNPq, FEPE and FAPEMIG.


Sleep; Sleep Hygiene; Paralympic athletes; Sports Performance.


Área Clínica


Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - Minas Gerais - Brasil


Andressa Silva, Isadora Grade, Renato Guerreiro, Eduardo Stiler, Valdênio Martins Brant, Renan Alves Resende, André Gustavo Andrade, Dawit Gonçalves, Marco Túlio De Mello