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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health





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Sleep and circadian rhythms are critically important for optimal physical performance and maintaining health during training. Chronotype and altered sleep may modulate the response to exercise training, especially when performed at specific times/days, which may contribute to musculoskeletal injury. The purpose of this study was to determine if cadet characteristics (chronotype, sleep duration, and social jetlag) were associated with injury incidence and inflammation during physical training. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets (n = 42) completed the Morningness/Eveningness Questionnaire to determine chronotype, and 1-week sleep logs to determine sleep duration and social jetlag. Salivary IL-6 was measured before and after the first and fourth exercise sessions during training. Prospective injury incidence was monitored over 14 weeks of training, and Army Physical Fitness Test scores were recorded at the conclusion. Chronotype, sleep duration, and social jetlag were assessed as independent factors impacting IL-6, injury incidence, and APFT scores using ANOVAs, chi-squared tests, and the t-test where appropriate, with significance accepted at p < 0.05. Evening chronotypes performed worse on the APFT (evening = 103.8 ± 59.8 vs. intermediate = 221.9 ± 40.3 vs. morning = 216.6 ± 43.6; p < 0.05), with no difference in injury incidence. Sleep duration did not significantly impact APFT score or injury incidence. Social jetlag was significantly higher in injured vs. uninjured cadets (2:40 ± 1:03 vs. 1:32 ± 55, p < 0.05). Exercise increased salivary IL-6, with no significant effects of chronotype, sleep duration, or social jetlag. Evening chronotypes and cadets with social jetlag display hampered performance during morning APFT. Social jetlag may be a behavioral biomarker for musculoskeletal injury risk, which requires further investigation.


Social jetlag; Chronotype; Military training; Sleep; Musculoskeletal injury; Reserve Officers’ Training Corps


Musculoskeletal System

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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