Pre-race sleep management strategy and chronotype of offshore solo sailors

Marco Filardi, Silvia Morini, Giuseppe Plazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate chronotype and the sleep management strategy adopted by sailors before the offshore solo sailing race “Mini Transat La Boulangère”. As secondary aim, we assessed whether adopting pre-race sleep management strategy influences performance at race. Materials and Methods: Forty-two solo sailors completed questionnaires on sleep quality, sleepiness, chronotype and an ad hoc questionnaire on the pre-race sleep management strategy adopted. Arrival times, separately for each race’s leg, were provided by the race organization team. Results: Solo sailors present mainly with a morning-type (40%) and intermediate-type (60%) chronotype, while none have an evening-type chronotype. Fifty-five percent of sailors adopted pre-race sleep management strategy. Sailors that adopted strategy have travelled more miles in offshore compared to sailors that did not adopt strategy (p<0.05). Significant differences emerged in rMEQ scores, with sailors that adopted strategy presenting lower score compared to sailors that did not adopt sleep strategy (p<0.05), as well as in chronotype distribution with morning-type sailors that are less likely to adopt pre-race sleep management strategy compared to intermediate type sailors (p<0.05). No differences emerged in final arrival times and in arrival time at leg1 and leg2. The most commonly adopted strategy (52% of sailors) consists of sleep extension, followed by the polyphasic sleep (26%), and sleep deprivation (22%) strategy. Sailors trained in polyphasic sleep have higher ESS than sailors trained in sleep deprivation (p<0.05). Conclusion: Morning-type chronotype is overrepresented in this large cohort of solo sailors compared to the general population; moreover, chronotype seems to influence the adoption of sleep management strategy. A little over half of solo sailors participating in the Mini Transat trained in sleep management strategy before the race; however, neither the general adoption of pre-race sleep management strategy nor the adoption of a specific sleep strategy seems to significantly influence final arrival times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalNature and Science of Sleep
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Chronotype
  • Sleep
  • Solo sailing
  • Sport medicine
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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