Int J Sports Med 2018; 39(07): 508-516
DOI: 10.1055/a-0599-0888
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of a 20-Min Nap Post Normal and Jet Lag Conditions on P300 Components in Athletes

Elisabeth Petit
1   UPFR Sports, 31, chemin de l’Epitaphe, 25030 Besançon, France
6   EA3920 and Exercise Performance Health Innovation Platform, Hauts de Chazal, 25030 Besançon, France
Hubert Bourdin
2   Sleep Disorder Unit, 2, place St Jacques, CHRU, F-25030 Besançon, France
Grégory Tio
3   University Hospital of Besancon, Department of Clinical Psychiatry, Besançon, France
Omer Yenil
4   ISIFC's 23, rue Alain Savary, 25000 Besançon, France
Emmanuel Haffen
5   University of Franche-Comté, UFR ST-EA481 Integrative Neurosciences and Comportment, Besançon, France
Fabienne Mougin
1   UPFR Sports, 31, chemin de l’Epitaphe, 25030 Besançon, France
6   EA3920 and Exercise Performance Health Innovation Platform, Hauts de Chazal, 25030 Besançon, France
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted 21 March 2018

Publication Date:
14 May 2018 (online)


Post-lunch sleepiness belongs to biological rhythms. Athletes take a nap to counteract afternoon circadian nadir, in prevision of disturbed sleep. This study examined the effects of brief post-lunch nap on vigilance in young and healthy athletes. The P300 components, physiological and cognitive performances were assessed either after nap or rest, following a night of normal sleep (NSC) or simulated jet lag condition (5-h advance-JLC). P300 wave is the positive deflection at about 300 ms in response to a rare stimulus, representing higher information processing. P300 amplitude reflects the amount of attention allocated whereas P300 latency reflects time spent on stimulus classification. P300 amplitude was significantly increased (Fz:11.14±3.0vs9.05±3.2 µV; p<0.05) and P300 latency was shorter (Pz:327.16±18.0vs344.90±17.0 ms; p<0.01) after nap in NSC. These changes were accompanied by lower subjective sleepiness (19.7±9.6vs27.5±16.5; p<0.05) and decrease in mean reaction times (MRT: divided attention, 645.1±74.2vs698±80.4 ms; p<0.05). In contrast, in JLC, only P300 amplitudes (Fz:10.30±3.1vs7.54±3.3 µV; p<0.01 and Cz: 11.48±3.1vs9.77±3.6 µV; p<0.05) increased but P300 latencies or MRT did not improve. These results indicated improvements in speed of stimulus evaluation time. Napping positively impacts on cognitive processing, especially when subjects are on normal sleep schedules. A nap should be planned for athletes whose performance requires speedy and accurate decisions.

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