Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is Circadian Advantage a Home Run for MLB Teams?

A study funded by Major League Baseball (ID# 0165) that is being presented as a poster presentation this morning at SLEEP 2008 examined the effect of circadian timing on the outcome of MLB games.

The analysis of 24,133 games from 1997 to 2006 found that in 79 percent of the games, both teams were “at home” in the current time zone. In the remaining 5,046 games, the team with the circadian advantage won about 52 percent of the games.

The study found that the magnitude of circadian advantage influenced success. The winning percentage for teams with a three-hour circadian advantage increased to 60.3 percent. The direction in which teams traveled did not appear to influence the outcome of games.

This study is a follow-up to a 2005 study that analyzed the results of MLB games from 2004. That study found that teams performed better traveling eastward than they did traveling westward. The initial research abstract was presented
in 2005.

According to the
American Academy of Sleep Medicine, jet lag is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that occurs when a long trip across time zones quickly puts you in a place where you need to sleep and wake at a time that is different than what your internal body clock expects. Symptoms can include disturbed sleep, decreased alertness and impaired functioning.

The SLEEP 2008 abstract book is available online at http://www.journalsleep.org/PDF/AbstractBook2008.pdf.

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