RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Gravitas joins collaborative study on esports athletes sleep requirements

SOURCE: Yasin Hasan/Unsplash
On average, young adults should have seven to nine hours of sleep.


By U2B Staff 

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An adequate amount of sleep is an essential need for all. Regardless of what profession you’re in, the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults aged 18 to 64-years-old to have at least seven to nine hours of sleep a day for optimum mental health and performance. 

In the world of esports, where high levels of attention and concentration are required during each match, it’s even more important for esports athletes to have enough sleep every day. 

According to preliminary studies, it’s evident that these athletes aren’t getting the required amount of sleep they need to maintain their performance. Moreover, their lack of sleep could result in adverse effects on their mental health.  

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A collaborative study led by Flinders University and supported by researchers from the University of North Texas, Stanford University and Sungshin University, will involve the use of sleep tracking devices and mood measures (for anxiety and depression) to examine the quality of sleep of esports athletes around the world and how this affects their mental health and wellbeing. 

Participants for this study will be from top esports teams such as Gravitas, Gen.G, Ground Zero and Kanga Esports. 

“I’m looking forward to Gravitas players understanding the importance of sleep and how it can affect their performance for practice and on game days. I know it’s become a focus in traditional pro-sports, so esports should be following their lead,” said Gravitas team owner Sean Callanan. 

Gravitas
A severe lack of sleep can affect the performance of esports athletes. Source: Alex Haney/Unsplash. 

The collaborative research team involved in this study is led by Flinders clinical psychologist and PhD candidate Daniel Bonnar with Professor Michael Gradisar. Joining this multinational team of sleep researchers are Associate Professor Sooyeon Suh and PhD candidate Sangha Lee from Sungshin University, Associate Professor Brandy Roane from the University of North Texas, and Dr Daniel Blum from Stanford University. 

“The benefit of working with esports organisations from different countries is that it allows us to develop a global view of the sleep habits of esports athletes,” said Bonnar.  

“From the data we’ve collected so far, we can see a trend that many esports athletes obtain less than seven hours of sleep per night, have a tendency to want to sleep and wake very late, with mood impacted as a result in some players,” said Professor Gradisar.

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Phase two of the project will aim to improve esports athletes’ sleep using a sleep intervention regime designed to address their specific sleep needs. 

“If we can improve the sleep of esports athletes, this will translate into enhanced wellbeing which can only be helpful for performance as well,” added Professor Gradisar.

“It’s great to see our players get support from Daniel Bonnar on sleep as well as helping them prepare for the pressures of being on OPL stage.  Additionally, the team is excited to participate with teams like Gen.G, Ground Zero and Kanga Esports.  Esports players are a competitive bunch. They are motivated to be the best sleepers across the study,” said Callanan.