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Exploring the Relationship Between Sleep and Expertise in Athletes

The School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University in Ontario has launched a research project investigating how athletes use recovery for the purpose of gaining expertise. Specifically, the study will examine the relationship between an athlete’s skill level and the characteristics of their sleep patterns.

Stuart Wilson, a Master’s student from School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences has reached out to Cycling BC in the hopes of recruiting competitive athletes over the age of 18, who are training for performance in an individual, aerobic-based sport (e.g. track/cross-country, swimming, cycling, rowing, etc.). They are looking for athletes at every level from regional/provincial competitions up to, and including, senior international competitions.

What is required of the athletes? The study involves keeping a sleep/training diary for 2 weeks. After the two weeks, they will be asked to complete a questionnaire taking about 20-30 minutes. Personal information and raw data will be accessible only by the research team and all responses will be identified using a participant code for complete anonymity. Only study-wide, and not individual, results will be shared with coaches at their request.

Why participate? Results from this study will further the understanding of how athletes use sleep as a tool of recovery, allowing the school to provide recommendations for current athletes and help shape the development pathway of future athletes.  This study also provides an opportunity for participating athletes to think about their sleep and recovery, and will give them some information on where they are at currently. Athletes will also receive an educational package with information on their sleep type, recommendations concerning sleep duration for athletes, and suggestions for improving their sleep quality. 

Any athletes that may be interested in participating in this research should read this document. The document addresses athletes directly with a quick summary of the study, and further information contained if they read on. Importantly, the attached document contains the link for athletes to follow to sign up.

Again, all athlete information is contained in the attached package, including the link to sign up for the study.

Should you have any questions and wish to discuss any aspects of this research project, you may contact the principal investigator at, or the research supervisor, Dr. Joseph Baker, at