MOBILE SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN RHYTHM ASSESSMENT FOR ENHANCED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Team: Olivia Walch (Medical School), Cathy Goldstein (Medical School), and Danny Forger (LSA and Medical School)
Summary: Circadian rhythms are biological events that repeat in the body approximately every 24 hours; the most obvious output of the circadian timing system is the sleep-wake cycle. However, it is now well known that circadian timing is manifested by virtually every physiological process. Importantly, athletic output demonstrates a clear circadian rhythm with differential performance given circadian phase. Recent work indicates that disparate circadian states within a team can negatively impact performance, and the interaction between the time of competition and the biological timing of athletes can modify game outcomes. In addition to circadian alignment, optimizing sleep is an integral part of maximizing performance. Multiple products available for team purchase have claimed to assess sleep and its contributions to performance; unfortunately, neither the hardware nor software of these products has been validated against gold-standard sleep assessment. Further, these platforms lack circadian phase estimation and, therefore, neglect a crucial contribution to mathematical algorithms, to develop a software suite that allows coaches and players to estimate both circadian state and sleep non-invasively and provide lighting and lifestyle recommendations to optimally shift circadian phase as needed and improve sleep duration and quality. In this project, researchers aim to identify a product that will use well-established sleep and circadian science, as well as validated mathematical algorithms, to develop a software suite that allows coaches and athletes, or other exercising individuals, to estimate both circadian state and sleep non-invasively to optimize performance.