Want To Sleep Like An Olympic Athlete?
How do Olympic Athletes Sleep?
Olympic athletes push the limits of what seems physically possible in a human body. While natural talents (and yes, bodies that are anatomically suited to the sport) play a role, so much of an athlete’s success comes down to the hard work, dedication and commitment athletes put into training and preparation. And a big part of that pre-game prep must include shut eye, according to Henri Tuomilehto, clinical director at Oivauni Sleep Clinics in Finland.
“Most of muscle recovery happens during sleep ― not lying on the couch watching TV,” Tuomilehto said. Without recovery, athletes cannot train at their peak, he said.
So what does Olympic-worthy sleep look like? Here’s what five gold-medal contenders at the Rio Olympics have said:
1. Phil Dalhausser: Still tired after a night’s sleep? Add a nap.
Beach volleyball gold medalist Phil Dalhausser says sleeping isn’t always easy on the road through competitions. The 6-foot-9, 36-year-old typically likes to go to bed around 11 p.m. and rest until 8 a.m., he told Van Winkle’s.
“But that often doesn’t happen,” he said. “When I sleep well my mind is sharp and it’s easy to focus. On a bad night’s sleep my brain feels foggy.”
So, he explained: “I’ll take a nap if I didn’t sleep well the night before.”
The solution is a total ace (whether or not you’re vying for gold). Research shows a midday nap can make you more alert, help your memory and boost your mood.
2. Sam Ojserkis: Repetition, repetition, repetition.
For Sam Ojserkis, coxswain of the USA rowing team, consistency is the secret behind his Olympic training.
Wake up at 5 a.m. Eat. Row. Eat Row. Eat. And hit the sheets again by 8 p.m., the 26-year-old recently told The Press of Atlantic City.
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