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Sleep and performance in female elite basketball players

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Summary of an article looking at sleep patterns and basketball performance of elite female players.


17 elite female basketball players (Australia).


Two observational periods in competition season (16 and 14 weeks, respectively).

Outcome measures

Total sleep duration (hours) and sleep efficiency (ratio of sleep duration to the total time spent in bed times 100%) measured using accelerometer/actigraph.

Match performance: Basketball Efficiency Statistic (Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) − (Missed Field Goals + Missed Free Throws + Turnovers).

Main results

  • On average elite athletes slept 7.6 (±1.5) hours per night and their sleep efficiency was 92%.
  • There was no difference in sleep patterns between games played “at home” and “away”.
  • Athletes slept on average 11% shorter after a game (Double-Header condition - “two matches played within a single round of competition”).
  • For one athlete (out of 12), basketball performance was correlated with her total sleep duration.

Take home message

For a clinician & coach
On average elite female basketball athletes slept 7.6 (±1.5) hours per night and their sleep efficiency was 92%. Their sleep was shorter after a game. For one athlete, sleep duration correlated with her basketball performance.
For a parent
Sleep duration may influence basketball performance in female athletes.
For an athlete
If you are a girl playing basketball, note that how much you sleep may influence how well you play.

Original article

Staunton C, Gordon B, Custovic E, Stanger J, Kingsley M. Sleep patterns and match performance in elite Australian basketball athletes. Journal of science and medicine in sport. 2017 Aug 1;20(8):786-9.

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