Public Release: 

NFL, NBA, and NHL teams have a disadvantage when traveling west

Evening games show greatest disadvantage for teams traveling westward

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

DARIEN, IL - A new study found that the NFL, NBA and NHL teams traveling from west to east had a higher winning percentage compared to teams traveling in the opposite direction.

The results of this study highlight the importance of the direction of the circadian disadvantage on the probability of success.

"These results highlight the importance of circadian rhythms in sport performance. They also raise concerns about well-established practices such as early training sessions and late-night athletic competitions and the possible negative effects on performance and health," said co-author, Geneviève Forest, PhD, Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). "These results show that the effect of the circadian disadvantage transcends the type of sport being played and needs to be addressed for greater equity among the western and eastern teams in professional sports."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 14, in Denver at SLEEP 2016, the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

The study reviewed the past 5 years of regular season games in the NBA, NFL and NHL and noted the winning percentage of the visiting team depending on the direction of travel (east vs same time zone vs west), and the number of time zones crossed for every game. T-tests and ANOVAs were performed to study the effect of the circadian disadvantage and its direction on winning percentage.

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Abstract Title: A 5-Year Retrospective Study on the Circadian Disadvantage in Three major sport Leagues in North America

Abstract ID: 0162

Presentation Date: Tuesday, June 14

Presentation Type: Poster presentation

Presentation Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

SLEEP 2016 is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The SLEEP 2016 abstract supplement is available at http://sleepmeeting.org/abstract-supplements. For a copy of the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Senior Communications Coordinator Amy Pyle at 630-737-9700, ext. 9366, or apyle@aasmnet.org.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality patient centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals (http://www.aasmnet.org).

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