Clemson Adds Nap Room

July 28, 2017

Clemson University's $55 million football complex features a nap room in order to ensure that its student-athletes get the sleep they need to optimize their performance.

According to SportsTechie, Jeff Kahn, CEO of Rise Science, a Chicago-based sleep coaching program that works with Clemson, said that sleep was critical to performance. The benefits of football players getting enough sleep includes the ability to run more quickly, throw more reliably, make fewer mistakes, and learn more easily.

“Sleep is the most potent performance-enhancing activity that we know of,” Kahn said.

Last summer, the school was aware that lack of sleep was a problem, leading to adding a nap room and hiring Rise to help rectify that. Joey Batson, director of strength and conditioning for Clemson, said that doing so would help athletes develop good sleep habits.

“We’ve already seen our student-athletes improve their sleep, and they feel the benefits,” Batson said. “We know how hard it is for student-athletes to prioritize sleep, but Rise provides individualized sleep plans and feedback and the program is really easy for our players and staff. Rise isn’t just showing our athletes how they are sleeping; the program helps them improve sleep discipline and increase overall sleep time, which we know will translate to better performance on and off the field.”

Rise provides sensors that measure how long and how well players sleep, as well as an app that allows players to communicate with sleep coaches, who give them advice on when they might need additional sleep. Kahn said the program works by making players accountable for getting enough sleep.

“The key was this personal level of feedback that was leading to this behavior change over time,” he said.

While the apps were made for football players, the CDC has called sleep deprivation “a public health problem,” and Kahn said everyone can benefit from a good night's sleep.

“This is not a problem just for athletes,” Kahn said. “We think it’s the biggest public health concern in the country right now.”

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