Menstrual cycle, sleep, performance and recovery with female athletes
There is currently very little known regarding the potential influence of the menstrual cycle on aspects of sleep, performance and recovery. In fact, there is not one published article that has assessed the variability of sleep (quality or quantity), nor the variability in performance testing throughout the menstrual cycle. Consequently, while fluctuations in ovarian steroid hormones are suggested to have a potential influence on female athletes sleep and performance, compared to males, there are no clear implications, especially for well-trained and elite female athletes.
This project will involve a series of studies that will examine the relationship between the menstrual cycle, sleep, performance and recovery in female athletes (recreational, well-trained, and professional). Additionally, sleep architecture will be compared between female athletes of different levels (elite and recreational). Overall, the project will examine both subjective and objective measures of sleep and a variety of performance tests across the menstrual cycle in female athletes. Furthermore, female hormones will be measured for the appropriate verification of the different menstrual cycle phases, or the impact of hormonal contraception use. Considering the lack of information in this area, the proposed project aims to help support the healthy development, wellbeing, and performance of female athletes.
Student: Madison Pearson
Supervisors: Associate Professor Shona Halson and Dr Jonathon Weakley