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Sleep and performance in Eathletes: for the win!

      Abstract

      Over the last decade, Esports, defined as a form of organized video game competition, has emerged as a global phenomenon. The professional players who compete in Esports, namely, Eathletes, share many similarities with their traditional athlete counterparts. However, in sharp contrast to traditional athletes, there is a paucity of research investigating the factors that influence the performance of Eathletes. This gap in the literature is problematic because Eathletes are unable to make informed and empirically supported decisions about their performance management, unlike traditional athletes. Sleep is an important factor that influences athletic performance in traditional sports, particularly those that require a high level of cognitive demand. Research is yet to examine whether sleep also plays an important function in optimal performance and success of Eathletes in Esports. Accordingly, the aim of this opinion piece is to review the broader sleep and sports medicine literature and provide theoretically grounded suggestions as to how existing findings may apply to Eathletes competing professionally in Esports. Overall, it appears that Eathlete performance may be vulnerable to the deleterious effects of sleep restriction. Furthermore, Eathletes are likely at risk of sleep disturbances due to the unique situations and conditions that characterize Esports.

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