Professional athletes often lead a seemingly glamorous life of fame and fortune (and free throws). Unfortunately, their line of work comes with the tradeoff of having to live their lives on the road, with hectic schedules training regimens and game schedules. And with staying on top of their game being a crucial part of their job description, athletes are almost required to make exercise and diet of the utmost priority on the daily to keep their performance at its best. Another crucial performance enhancer? Sleep. It’s an undeniable truth that a good night’s rest can work wonders in making you feel energetic and focused, but it’s ability to boost your mental and physical performance may prove especially crucial to those who make a living by winning games and matches. Here’s a look into five famous athletes’ sleep schedules.
NBA-Kevin Durant knows the importance of a schedule in his day-to-day life. He lives by rising early, getting in two to three morning workouts and keeping his energy up throughout the day. But the basketball player knows that one of the biggest secrets to positively challenging himself and pushing himself to the next level is getting better rest. “Of course, on the basketball side, you have to fine tune your skills,” Durant told CBS Sports. “But on the other side, you have to fine tune your body. There’s a lot of remedies you can use as a basketball player to get better, but the easiest thing you can do is go to sleep.”
The famous sprinter is a big proponent of sleep technology for monitoring and analyzing his sleep patterns effectively. In fact, Usain Bolt sleeps about 8 to 10 hours a night and finds tech great for reminding him to get sleep. He even touts enough rest as a way for training to be absorbed by the body.
Larry Fitzgerald, the eighth Pro Bowl wide receiver for Arizona, takes pride in the fact that he usually turns in for the night at around 9 p.m., and sleeps an average of 9 to 11 hours a night depending on what he has in store the next day. He claims that on game days, he’ll even try for at least 10 to 11 hours to maintain peak performance. “I always get my rest and I think that’s one of the things that people don’t talk often about,” Fitzgerald told the Huffington Post. “Your body heals and repairs itself better than anything. Being able to get some sleep really does a great cause for your recovery and helping you wake up with a renewed, fresh mental and physical outlook.”
As a two-time league MVP, NBA player Steve Nash actively makes sleep a main priority in his life to optimize his performance on the court. He gets 10 hours a night, and makes time for a nap here and there to supplement that. According to a statement from Nash to the New York Times, sleep is “definitely something that’s hard to do when you’re traveling a lot. You have a busy, stressful schedule, but it’s something you have to make a priority.”
The Olympic swimmer understands how sleep can be a matter of quality over quantity. Rather than sleeping a certain number of hours, Phelps chooses to sleep in strange, innovative chambers that simulate being at an altitude of 8,500 to 9,000 feet. This supposedly decreases oxygen levels in the body, forcing one to produce red blood cells that bring oxygen to the muscles. Phelps believes this makes his blood flow, and thus endurance, improve.
Taking a few tips from the pros might be your secret to a better sleep every night. Of course, since not all of us have our own pod-like sleep chambers to snooze in, there’s always a bottle of reBloom to help do the trick.