Athletes Sleep Better In Comfortable Beds
When Stanford researcher, Cheryl Mah started her sleep study on Cardinal Athletes, she didn’t know what she would find. There were plenty of research studies on what happens to the body when it doesn’t get enough sleep, but virtually none on what a lot of sleep can do to a body. Even fewer of those studies focused on the elite world of college athletes. Mah took the Stanford basketball team, who usually slept a total of 6.5 hours on average, and made them sleep as much as possible – almost nine hours a night – for a week straight. Not a horrible scenario if you’re a college athlete with a comfortable bed. The results were shocking. Not only did players run better and longer, they shot better. They improved their free throw shooting by eleven percent and their three point shooting by thirteen percent. These ideas have helped change how athletes (and non-athletes) view sleep in recent years, from an indulgent luxury to a vital necessity. Whether you’re a pro athlete or a weekend warrior, a lot of time in your comfortable bed is going to increase your performance. Let’s look at some tips of how the pros do it.
Nap Early and Often
In a long and grueling NBA season, it’s easy to get tired thanks to copious amounts of road travel. This can also be true if you’re toiling away on long business trips for your job. Try doing what NBA players like Steve Nash have found as a tried and true method — get in a nap whenever possible. “If you nap every game day, all those hours add up and it allows you to get through the season better,” says Nash. “I want to improve at that, so by the end of the year, I feel better.” Naps can be a vital way to catch up on what you’ve missed at night. Make no mistake, they aren’t a substitute for deep REM sleep, but used in a regular sleep schedule, they can make for quick bursts of energy — whether you’re on the court, or in the courtroom. Maybe you don’t always have a comfortable bed around, but finding a quiet place to snooze could make a big difference in your late-day performance. Try it instead of coffee!
Make Time For Yourself
Sleep is like any other part of an athlete’s training regimen, it only works if you are consistent with it. If you think about sleep as training, it can help get past the stigma of it being an indulgence. That makes purchases like a comfortable bed with a great foam mattress a necessity. We recommend Nectar mattresses. Nectar is high quality, durable foam that conforms to your body without sacrificing support. Plus, it’s high quality materials promote coolness and higher air quality so that you can stay in deep sleep longer, a must for any athlete or person trying to up their fitness game. So what are some of your best training tips? Do they start with a comfortable bed? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll see you at the gym!