LeBron James and Sleep
LeBron James is a household name. His long and storied NBA career has been going strong, surpassing many of his contemporaries. James is on NBA season number 16. In an industry where the average career lasts just under 5 years, that’s pretty impressive. And while training, diet, and personal circumstance have a big impact on this success, something less glamorous has been working behind the scenes, as well: sleep.
Sports, especially professional sports, can be very hard on the body. All the hard exercise, the travel, and the injuries take their toll on the human body. For a sports career to even be plausible, the players’ bodies need time to recover, and not just from injuries but from regular use; wear and tear.
Sleep is how we let our bodies recharge, physically and mentally. And LeBron James’s understanding of this concept is partly to thank for why we’ve been privileged with watching him score hoop after hoop for well over a decade.
James and his personal trainer, Mike Mancias, have several times offered up the star baller’s sleep routine and how he benefits from it. First off, James is in bed at least 8 hours a night, sometimes resting for even longer. This gives his body time to enter a proper REM cycle, one of the most important parts of a night’s sleep.
James also keeps his room at a low temperature, usually between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. While many people like to crank up the heat in their bedrooms, research shows that slightly lower temperatures are ideal for getting good rest. Of course, a room that is too cold (or too hot) can result in restless sleep or disrupted sleep cycles, making REM cycles harder to achieve and decreasing sleep quality. You can stay in bed for twelve hours a day, but if the quality of your sleep is poor, you won’t be getting much benefit from it.
A dark room free from electronic light is another must-have for James and anyone else looking to wake up feeling more refreshed. Even though he spends many of his nights in hotel rooms, LeBron James still makes the effort to replicate these room conditions before going to sleep at night, and that is one of the keys to his success.
The Sleep Investment
Even those of us who aren’t star basketball players raking in millions each year should still pay close attention to our sleep habits. Buying a high-quality pillow won’t transform you into an NBA star, but it may help you improve your daily energy levels. Whether you need to travel, ace that next exam, or just get through the workday, getting a good night’s sleep will ensure you can meet those demands every day for a long time.