Four NBA MVPs Used Sleep to Elevate Their Game

Four NBA MVPs Used Sleep to Elevate Their Game

Here’s how some of our favorite basketball players utilize Zzz’s to maximize their performance on the court.

A new study found that the circadian rhythms of professional athletes directly correlate to their performance in points, wins, and number of injuries.

Circadian rhythm is an internal clock that determines when you feel more tired or energized. A good night’s sleep will lessen the impact of energy swings – while sleeping less intensifies these swings.

Plenty of NBA players count on sleep to help their performance, including Lebron James – who claims his inability to sleep during the 2011 NBA Finals was detrimental to his performance… he averaged 17.8 ppg and Miami lost that series 4-2 to the Dallas Mavericks.

Lebron James: “Sleep is the most important thing when it comes to recovery.”

Lebron told CBS Sports that while players’ schedules limit their opportunities to sleep, it’s key for recovery to get quality rest in post-game and practice. James always tries to average 12 hours a sleep a night.

Kobe Bryant: “You can’t perform on 2-3 hours of sleep.”

Kobe Bryant didn’t realize the impact of sleep on his performance until midway into his career. “My sleep habits were horrendous,” he recounted as a guest lecturer at Thrive e-Course, “I was feeling sluggish. I was feeling lethargic, and I knew it wasn’t because of my training.” After serious evaluation, he made dramatic sleep changes to reach his peak productivity.

Kevin Durant: “The easiest thing you can do is go to sleep.”

For Kevin Durant, perfecting his health is as important as fine-tuning his basketball skills. Durant says sleep is a fundamental part of optimizing performance. “Every day is a new chance to challenge myself and push my training to the next level, but I can only do that if I keep my energy up. Sleep is an important part of that,” he told the Huffington Post.

Andre Iguodala: “Sleep good, feel good, play good.”

Nine years into his NBA career, Iguodala met with a sleep therapist. “I’ve tried to perfect everything that goes on in the game of basketball that can make me a better player,” Iguodala said on the Thrive Global Podcast. “I’m looking to better in every area. Sleep was one of those areas.” When he began sleeping eight hours per night, Iguodala saw an increase in playing time and points per minute, and a significant decrease in turnovers and fouls made.

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