Monkeys, I admit it. The topic title is a bit misleading. But now that I’ve got your attention, I wanted to talk to you guys today about an article that I read in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago that discussed the benefits of sleep and how some teams in the NFL are using it to gain an advantage. Since a lot of us are football fans who suffer from not getting enough sleep, I thought I’d share the article in case some of you missed it.
Now, I know we’re all smart enough to know that getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to being able to do anything exceptionally well, but given the industries that we work in, it is almost impossible to get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep each night. What’s worse is that some of us have to travel to different time zones consistently.
Studies have shown that even a three hour difference that comes from traveling from the east coast to the west coast and vice-versa can throw a monkey wrench in our sleep schedule and cause us to not sleep well, which can put a damper on our productivity the following day.
According to the article, three teams (Ravens, 49ers, and the Jetslol) spent the summer going through sleep studies to look for ways to help their players improve their performance by catching more z’s. What did the teams do this year to improve their player’s quality of sleep?
The 49ers went as far as moving their entire team to Ohio before their game with the Jets so that their players could get acclimated to Eastern Time.
The Jets have made an effort to pre-set their hotel room temperatures to a comfortable 68 degrees in addition to asking players to keep their rooms pitch black.
The Ravens have started to combat jet lag by starting practices and team meetings at a later time when they know they have an upcoming game on West Coast time.
Are the teams' sleeping strategies working? You be the. Ahmad Brooks believes that the 49ers sleep strategy is paying huge dividends in their early success. According to him, when he flies between coasts, he usually cannot sleep till the wee hours of the morning. This causes him to forget where to be on a specific play (talk about a drama queen).
Since a lot of us are junior employees, we cannot possibly dictate our own sleeping schedule. We can’t do things later to get used to a later time zone before a big meeting on another coast. Furthermore, after a long day’s work, I am willing to bet that none of us care that our room temperature is at a comfortable 68 degrees.With that being said, to those monkeys that fly to different time zones, is there anything you do to quickly adjust to the new time? To those that can only manage 4-5 hours of sleep each night, what do you do to ensure that you’ll be alert and ready the next day?