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The Cleveland Cavaliers’ science-backed secrets to restful sleep

Are you getting a good night’s sleep?

With crazy work schedules, travel, and parenting – Chances are, mornings feel like they happen too soon!

But there could be some tricks to getting better sleep, or catching up on extra Z’s, thanks to step-by-step sleeping guide that Cleveland Cavaliers players have been instructed to follow. Players spend half of the year on the road in different time zones, so getting enough rest can be difficult. While the advice is intended exclusively for players, people who find themselves jet-lagged, or needing extra rest may find the guide to be helpful.

Sleeping Guide

  • Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep per night, more if you need it.
  • Avoid caffeine where possible in the 7 hours before the time you wish to fall asleep.

In your Hotel Room

  • Put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.
  • Set the temperature to 65 degrees.
  • Turn the fan on high so that you have a constant ambient noise.
  • Make the room as dark as possible. Pull the curtains, turn off all the lights and unplug the digital clock in the room if it does not have a dimming switch.
  • Place a towel at the base of the door if the hallway light is shining through.
  • One hour before the time you want to fall asleep remove all source of light and stimulus (TV, Phones, iPads, etc). Mindfulness/meditation is a good way to prepare your body to sleep (Headspace App).
  • Layer your bedding to personal comfort levels.

Napping

  • Ideal time to nap is in the early afternoon. Your nap should be finished at least 30mins before the time the bus leaves for the game.
  • On non-game days do not nap within 4 hours of the time you anticipate going to bed, as this will inhibit your sleep.
  • A 10-20 min-power nap will provide you with a 4-hour energy boost.
  • A 90 min-2 hour nap will give you a 30% increase in energy.
  • DO NOT NAP for 60 mins as this will mess with your natural body circadian rhythms. Either a 10-20 mins or 90 mins-2 hours (or 3 hours if you are exceptionally tired).

Returning from West Coast

  • Try and sleep on the plane through the night. If on arrival you are still tired take a maximum 3-hour nap first thing in the morning. Then stay up until 8pm that day trying to get outside with as much sunlight exposure as possible. Light exercise during the day will also help you stay awake. You want to get yourself back on the time schedule as soon as possible.

Dr. Basma Ricaurte, a sleep medicine specialist at Ohio Chest Physicians in Westlake, agrees with much of the advice.

“Definitely, there’s good science behind it,” she said. “Sleep cycles last about 90 minutes. So if you’re finishing a cycle and you’re waking up in the middle of the cycle, that may disrupt the solid sleep, or quality of sleep that we get.”

But Dr. Basma warns that naps should not be a frequent substitute for 8-9 hours of regularly scheduled sleep.

“Cool temperature, dark, and quiet,” said Basma, are the keys to creating the best sleep environment.

© 2018 WKYC

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