For Olympians like Jeremy Abbot, going for the gold starts with getting a good night’s sleep. In fact, Abbot even brought his own queen-size mattress to Sochi so that he could avoid tossing and turning on the twin-size beds at the Olympic village! Reflecting on his experience at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Abbot told NBCOlympics.com, “I toss and turn a lot. For the two and a half weeks I was in Vancouver I didn’t sleep one full night because I was always afraid that I was going to roll off the bed.”
Talking about his portable queen-size mattress, Abbot commented that “[The mattress] is really high; it’s a legitimate bed. Getting it here was a pain; it weighs 25 pounds. I literally packed a suitcase just for the bed, but it’s definitely worth it.”
Sleep experts agree that as little as one extra hour of sleep per night can improve athletic performance. In an interview on the Huffington Post, sleep specialists Haley A. Davis and James B. Maas, Ph.D explained how athletes can reap the maximum benefits from sleep. By sleeping at least 7 hours and delaying early morning exercise until later in the day (if possible), athletes can improve their muscle memory, leading to better performance.
We hope all of the Olympians have been able to get some much-needed sleep in Sochi – and a big congrats to Jeremy Abbot and his teammates (above) for their bronze medal in the figure skating team competition!