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Self-reported sleep duration affects tandem gait, but not steady-state gait outcomes among healthy collegiate athletes.

Self-reported sleep duration affects tandem gait, but not steady-state gait outcomes among healthy collegiate athletes.
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Howell DR, Berkstresser B, Wang F, Buckley TA, Mannix R, Stillman A, Meehan WP,


Howell DR, Berkstresser B, Wang F, Buckley TA, Mannix R, Stillman A, Meehan WP, (click to view)

Howell DR, Berkstresser B, Wang F, Buckley TA, Mannix R, Stillman A, Meehan WP,

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Gait & posture 2018 03 2662() 291-296 pii S0966-6362(18)30261-3
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Sleep deficits are associated with motor and cognitive function deficits, even in the absence of a recent concussion.

RESEARCH QUESTION
Does the amount of self-reported sleep prior to pre-season concussion testing affect single-task and dual-task instrumented steady-state gait and timed tandem gait test performance?

METHODS
One hundred and fourteen healthy collegiate athletes (mean age 18.8 ± 0.7 years; 60% female) reported the amount of sleep they received during the prior night and completed a timed tandem gait test and an instrumented assessment of steady-state gait in both single-task and dual-task conditions. Outcome variables included spatio-temporal gait parameters during steady-state gait, best and mean tandem gait times, and cognitive test accuracy.

RESULTS
Participants who reported sleeping <7 h of sleep during the night prior to testing (n = 62) had significantly longer tandem gait times in single-task and dual-task conditions (11.1 ± 2.2 vs. 10.1 ± 2.0 s and 14.5 ± 4.3 vs. 12.3 ± 2.6 s, respectively; p = .009) compared to those who reported sleeping ≥7 h (n = 52). No significant differences between groups were observed for spatio-temporal steady-state gait variables or for cognitive test accuracy. SIGNIFICANCE
Self-reported sleep duration may be associated with baseline testing tandem gait performance. Thus, as sleep can play a role in motor abilities, clinicians may consider interpreting tandem gait performance in light of sleep duration during the night prior to testing.

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