A Major League Baseball player’s natural sleep preference might affect his batting average in day and night games, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).
Results indicate that players who were “morning types” had a higher batting average (.267) than players who were “evening types” (.259) in early games that started before 2 p.m. However, evening types had a higher batting average (.261) than morning types (.252) in mid-day games that started between 2 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. This advantage for evening types persisted and was strongest in late games that began at 8 p.m. or later, when evening types had a .306 batting average and morning types maintained a .252 average.
“Our data, though not statistically significant due to low subject numbers, clearly shows a trend toward morning-type batters hitting progressively worse as the day becomes later, and the evening-types showing the opposite trend,” said principal investigator and lead author Dr. W. Christopher Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Va.