Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend, and we wanted to share how the top NFL teams are preparing for one of the world’s greatest contests. Physical training and studying film are a given part of any team’s ritual; however, you might be surprised to find out the role of naps in preparation for the big game.
Just for context, the Super Bowl isn’t just another game in the season. This game is in front of more people, lasts longer, and features some of the highest stakes in sport. Anything a team can do to give themselves an edge, short of cheating, can be the difference between a championship and a devastating defeat.
Elite Athletes are Powered by Naps (Sorry Gatorade®)
What distinguishes elite athletes from the pack isn’t necessarily their abilities, but rather their willingness to outwork the competition, or in this case, out-sleep the competition.
Espn.com recently published an article detailing how some NFL teams are using pre-game naps for an extra dose of REM sleep to sharpen their athlete’s motor skills and take their players’ performance to the highest level possible going into a contest.
A longtime subscriber to the pre-game power nap is none other than Patriot’s Quarterback Tom Brady. While Tom prioritizes a healthy sleep regiment every night, he also manages to take a substantial nap before every game to invigorate his mind and body to make sure he is operating at goat-like abilities.
Following Tom’s example, more and more teams are starting to institute facilities specifically designed to provide their players with a comfortable place for a pre-game nap. Some teams are even bringing on sleep experts to help all their athletes find the best sleeping regiment to improve performance.
The vast majority of us aren’t going to be playing in the Super Bowl this year, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t benefit from adding a nap into our daily lives. Prioritizing recovery and supplementing your sleep with naps can have great effects off of the field.
While no amount of napping can match the benefits of a proper nightly sleep regiment, the addition of a midday nap is proven to help increase brain function and even improve your mood. Just like throwing a perfect spiral, efficient sleeping is a learned skill. Create a realistic routine that you can stick to and pay attention to the effect it has on your sleep and overall health. Only you can determine what works for your body and schedule. And remember, practice makes perfect.
We hope you are as excited as we are to tune in this Sunday and see if the Rams are able to catch the Patriots sleeping, or if the well-rested veterans are going to bring home yet another trophy.
Gatorade is a registered trademark of the PepsiCo company.
Image credit: Jack Newton via wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.0.
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