Red light and the sleep quality and endurance performance of chinese female basketball players

Jiexiu Zhao, Ye Tian, Jinlei Nie, Jincheng Xu, Dongsen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Good sleep is an important recovery method for prevention and treatment of overtraining in sport practice. Whether sleep is regulated by melatonin after red-light irradiation in athletes is unknown. Objective: To determine the effect of red light on sleep quality and endurance performance of Chinese female basketball players. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Athletic training facility of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and research laboratory of the China Institute of Sport Science. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty athletes of the Chinese People's Liberation Army team (age = 18.60 ± 3.60 years) took part in the study. Participants were divided into redlight treatment (n = 10) and placebo (n = 10) groups. Intervention(s): The red-light treatment participants received 30 minutes of irradiation from a red-light therapy instrument every night for 14 days. The placebo group did not receive light illumination. Main Outcome Measure(s): The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire was completed, serum melatonin was assessed, and 12-minute run was performed at preintervention (baseline) and postintervention (14 days). Results: The 14-day whole-body irradiation with red-light treatment improved the sleep, serum melatonin level, and endurance performance of the elite female basketball players (P < .05). We found a correlation between changes in global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and serum melatonin levels (r =-0.695, P = .006). Conclusions: Our study confirmed the effectiveness of body irradiation with red light in improving the quality of sleep of elite female basketball players and offered a nonpharmacologic and noninvasive therapy to prevent sleep disorders after training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • 12-minute run
  • Melatonin
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index


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