What Is It Like To Sleep Like An Olympic Athlete?

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We all know Olympic athletes train like crazy. But getting enough sleep is something that’s just as important as their time in the gym and their well-rounded diets.

“As athletics become more and more competitive to where a millisecond can be the difference between a gold and silver medal, everyone is looking for any possible edge they can get — sleep is that edge,” Olympic sleep expert Dr. Mark Rosekind told The Huffington Post.

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Elite athletes say that regular sleep schedules are important to their performance, and most of them get more than the recommended minimum of seven hours each night.

Related: How Does Sleep Impact Muscle Recovery?

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas sleeps eight hours a night. Sam Ojserkis, Olympic rower, and coxswain for the United States men’s eight boat, sleeps nine hours, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Olympic alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin said she is typically in bed by 9 p.m., and sleeps around 10 hours each night in an NBC report.

Something else Olympians rely on? Naps.

Former Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Van Winkle’s that naps were a crucial part of her schedule. “I pretty much took a nap every day from the time I started intensive training to the time I retired, which was about a decade,” she said. While traveling, it was important to get even more sleep. I was a pro at it. People would find me catching a power nap in all sorts of places on a bus or plane and even in the splits. I learned early on that sleeping was just as important to my training as conditioning, stretching, and skills. I had to give my body and my mind time to recover.”

Related: Finding The Best Mattress For Athletes

Shiffrin relies on a daily nap for recovery, as do athletes like beach volleyball player Phil Dalhausser and alpine skier Travis Ganong.

“After the morning lift, I try and squeeze in a nap as often as possible,” Ganong says. “It’s good to shut down after a tough session.”

Featured image: kovop58/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

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