Nap pods at Sports Centre Papendal

The Olympic flame is lit, and the world’s greatest athletes are up for action in Tokyo. A good sleep strategy is key to winning Gold, and therefore it is no surprise that more sports teams are investing in sleep tech. Among these are the Dutch Olympic Team, who have had three Metronaps EnergyPods installed in preparation for the Olympics.

Michelle Vaessen from Team NL Centrum has commented on the nap pod installation at the Home Stadium of Team Netherlands:

“We know short rest improves athlete performance which is why we’ve made the EnergyPods available for the Dutch Olympic team here at Sport Centrum Papendal.”

The Tokyo Summer Olympics begins on July 23 and ends on August 8. Over 11,000 athletes, including 188 Dutch, are attending.

The three branded EnergyPods at Sports Centre Papendal

The importance of sleep in professional sports

Getting a proper amount of sleep is an essential part of muscle recovery. In a study conducted by Greg Nuckols in 2014[i], subjects were divided into Group A, which slept 8.5 hours, and Group B, which slept 5.5 hours. 

The study participants’ caloric requirements were very similar (about 2140 cal), and they provided the same number of calories every day (1450 cal). After the study, both groups lost the same amount of weight (3 kg), but the group that slept longer retained twice as much muscle mass. 

The reason for the dramatic difference in muscle mass is that lack of sleep inhibits the secretion of hormones like Testosterone, Ghrelin, and IGF-1, which are incredibly important in maintaining healthy weight and muscle endurance.[ii] 

In other words, if you want to become a professional athlete, you cannot neglect your sleep.

Sources used

[i] G. Nuckols, Wrecking Your Diet, One Night At a Time, 2014

[ii] N. Littlehales, Sleep: Redefine Your Rest, for Success in Work, Sport and Life, 2016