In an interview, the neuroscientist Matthew Walker commented on the importance of sleep in sports, mentioning some of the greatest athletes. "Sleep is probably the greatest legal enhancing performance drug that few athletes are abusing enough", said Walker.
"You see in some athletes, so Roger Federer claims to sleep around 12 hours, he does that with about ten hours a night and about a two-hour sleep during the day. Usain Bolt, the famous sprinter, claimed to sleep somewhere between nine and a half to ten hours a night and he takes naps strategically during the day.
And one of the records that he broke is that he was awake for 35 minutes after sleeping and came out and broke a world record. They all know the power of sleep and they use it. The basketball player LeBron James sleeps 12 hours as well.
We work with all of those athletes. So it's not just that sleep enhances your performance on the day. I think most of the team sports neglect it even if they are becoming more aware. It's after the performance where sleep is critical.
Because that's where you need recovery and restitution of tissues. When you are performing at that level, you typically have chronic inflammation within the body and sleep is fantastic for reducing that chronical inflammation.
So your recovery is markedly when you got to sleep after a performance." In an interview to The Telegraph, the Novak Djokovic' strategy analyst Craig O'Shannessy commented on the importance of statistics and technology in tennis.
“When people watch the elite players – Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic – they think the result is much more down to their play and their patterns", said O'Shannessy. "But there’s a hidden game going on against each opponent where they know the weaknesses so they’re modifying and adjusting their game plans much more than the average person would realise.
The Big Three do it more than the other players. Further down the list, the players tend to focus on what they do and the patterns they want rather than what’s going on the other side of the court and understanding their opponent."