Sleep & Baseball: The Team That Sleeps Better Plays Better

When you are cheering on your favorite baseball team this summer or just trying to pick the winner of a closely contested match-up, consider the quality of sleep each team probably got the night before.  While this clearly isn’t an exact science (and of course, you have no way of knowing if any key players have sleeping problems), the away team may have a distinct disadvantage, particularly if they had to travel through many time zones to get to the game site. 

Dr. Chris Winter of the Martha Jefferson Medical Center recently reported the results of a study on Major League Baseball players, sleep, and performance, funded by the MLB.  He found that not only did the constant travel take a toll on the players (maybe they should try Speed Sleep to combat jet lag!), but that he thought that “the games in which one team was more acclimated to their time zone than their opponent, then that team would have more of an advantage – it turns out that they really did.”  Something to think about next time you are trying to pick the winning team.

However, you don’t need to be a big time ballplayer to benefit from the findings of this study – a good night’s sleep can also help amateur athletes perform to the best of their abilities.

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