Effects of napping and self-selected motivation music during warming up on cognitive and physical performance

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Introduction: It has been established that napping or listening to motivational music during warm-up is an effective strategy to enhance cognitive and physical performances. However, which could provide better enhancement warrants further investigation. This study aimed to examine the effect of a 30-min nap opportunity (N30), a warm-up with self-selected motivational music (WUMM), and the combination of N30 with WUMM (WUMM + N30) on cognitive and physical performances in karate athletes.

Method: In a randomized order, 14 national-level male karate athletes performed four experimental sessions: control, N30, WUMM, and WUMM + N30. Simple (SRT) and choice (CRT) reaction times, selective attention, subjective sleepiness (ESS), mood state (POMS), countermovement jump (CMJ), and karate agility test (KAT) were evaluated before and after an all-out exhaustive task [i.e., the Karate Specific Test (KST)]. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured immediately after the KST.

Results: Compared to the control, all interventions improved cognitive outcomes, mood, and sleepiness. No effects on physical performances (CMJ and KAT) were found after N30. Compared to N30, WUMM + N30 improved SRT pre- and postexercise (pre: p < 0.05, d = 0.72; post: p < 0.001, d = 0.14), CRT (pre: p < 0.001, d = 0.07; post: p < 0.001, d = 0.10), attention (pre: p < 0.05, d = 0.06; post: p < 0.01, d = 0.06), mood (pre: p < 0.001, d = 2.53; post: p < 0.001, d = 0.23), and decreased ESS scores (pre: p < 0.01, d = 1.41; post: p < 0.05, d = 1.18). However, there was no significant difference between WUMM and N30. KST performance was not affected by the experimental conditions. However, the KST-induced performance deficit in CMJ and KAT was smaller following WUMM + N30 compared to WUMM and N30. RPE scores were lower following WUMM + N30 and WUMM.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that a combination of listening to selfselected motivational music during warm-up with a 30-min nap could be an effective strategy to enhance cognitive and physical performance decline caused by fatigue induced by exercise.

alertness, cognitive functions, combat sport, daytime sleep, time to exhaustion, martial arts

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Picture: EJU

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