NFL Players Are Using Sleep Number Beds To Help Optimize Their Performance

In January, the National Football League (NFL) and popular retailer Sleep Number announced a new partnership that made Sleep Number the Official Sleep and Wellness Partner of the NFL. Sleep Number also gave every active player in the league access to a Sleep Number 360® smart bed and accompanying sleep health tracking technology.

Nearly a year after the collaboration’s launch, Sleep Number says more than 1,600 NFL athletes are utilizing its adjustable beds and SleepIQ® technology to track and utilize their personal biometric data. The two companies are also working together with aggregate data and insights to “holistically advance player well-being,” according to a release.

“We are excited about the historic and unprecedented number of players who have already invested in and prioritize quality sleep this early in Sleep Number’s partnership with the NFL and NFLPA [NFL Players Association],” Sleep Number Senior Director of Partnerships Patrick Campion told Mattress Clarity via email. “With 1,800 NFL players actively pursuing this opportunity, there’s no doubt about the value they are placing on the impact the Sleep Number 360® smart bed and quality sleep have on performance and well-being.”

Using Sleep Tracking Data to Enhance Athletic Performance

Each Sleep Number 360® smart bed has built-in SleepIQ® technology. It is proprietary technology that works with sensors to track sleep at night and help you utilize the data to find things like your ideal Sleep Number setting, the best hours for you to sleep, and other insights. With this information, players can tweak the firmness and softness of their mattress with the adjustable air chamber in their bed and make other changes to meet their sleep needs.

It also provides the player with biometric data from the night before, including stats such as their heart rate or average breathing rate.

When athletes know how they are sleeping, they can adjust their routine to maximize and enhance performance, Campion told Mattress Clarity.

“Sleep becomes a crucial pillar of success for elite athletes like NFL players,” Gina Scott, vice president of partner services for the NFLPA, told us. “The health stats collected from Sleep Number beds and owned by the players can provide unique opportunities to adjust or enhance training regimens that may correlate to better performance on and off the field.”

Research confirms that sleep and athletics are intricately connected. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can negatively impact athletic performance (1). That’s partly because adequate sleep is essential for muscle recovery — something active NFL players need to prioritize. The National Sleep Foundation says REM sleep is particularly crucial for providing energy to the brain and body, while tissue growth and repair happens primarily when we’re asleep.

At this moment, the data collected from the SleepIQ® technology is controlled by the individual players who use this tech. Scott told us that at some point, the cumulative data will be used “as dictated by the players to advance overall performance.”

In addition to analyzing aggregate data from players across the league, Sleep Number says it is already looking ahead to next year’s class of rookies and thinking of getting a jump start by activating at the 2019 Rookie Premiere. The Rookie Premiere is a business event that brings business partners and players together to “engage with the latest group of promising young stars to create content for seasonal campaigns, secure endorsement deals, promote licensed products through group player rights and showcase goods and services throughout the multi-day event,” according to the NFL Player’s Association website.

Featured image: Benji Mellish/Pexels

References: 

  1. Thun, Eirunn, et. al., “Sleep, circadian rhythms, and athletic performance” Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol 23, (2015) 1-9.
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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.