We asked our SHEEX Sleep Ambassadors: How much sleep do you need to perform at the professional level?
Medical experts recommendation that individuals need 7-9 hours of sleep to support your health and get through your day without your energy levels crashing. But is that enough sleep for an elite athlete pushing their body to the limit in grueling workouts and competitions? Probably not, and most experts agree that elite athletes, active individuals and kids need even more sleep than the average person. We asked our SHEEX Sleep Ambassadors, a roster that includes several Olympic medalists and World Champions, for the inside scoop about their sleep habits and what SHEEX products help them maximize the rest that they get each day.
Brad Walker- Two-time Olympic Pole Vaulter and two-time World Champion (2006 and 2007)
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? 9-10 hours
How much sleep do you actually get? I would say 10 on average.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? The SHEEX Performance Duvet. My SHEEX Performance Sheets end up all over the place when I sleep, so the duvet is usually what is against my skin. The duvet feels as amazingly soft and comfortable like the entire SHEEX collection.
Cliff Avril- Superbowl Champion XLVIII, Defensive End, Seattle Seahawks
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? It varies.
How much sleep do you actually get? Having a family and being a pro football player can throw off regular sleep patterns, but when I do get some nice rest, my SHEEX definitely help.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? SHEEX Performance Sheets!
Ben Auerbach- Personal Trainer, XTERRA Trail Running World-Champion (2012)
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? 9 hours is ideal when I am training hard.
How much sleep do you actually get? About 8-9 hours on average.
Lawrence Siegel- Mixed Martial Arts and Brown Belt in Jiu-Jitsu
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? To be at my best I really need 6 hours of sleep but my body definitely lets me know when it’s time to awaken from my slumber.
How much sleep do you actually get? I get about 6-7 hours of sleep a night but can function with a minimum of 4.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? The Sheex Travel Pillow is something that I really cannot function without. I travel quite frequently and I bring my Sheex Travel Pillow with me so that I always get the benefit of having a pillow that stays cool on both sides. I’ve even driven an hour back to a hotel because I left it behind by mistake…I never forgot it again!
Christine Vardaros- Professional Cyclist
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? I need a minimum of 9 hours, but my ideal amount is closer to 10.
How much sleep do you actually get? I get a minimum of 9 hours except when traveling or sometimes before a very early race start time, then it’s sometimes 7 1/2 hours.
Dexter McCluster- Kansas City Wide Receiver
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? I like between 6 to 8 hours.
How much sleep do you actually get? I can’t pinpoint it exactly. I now have a new baby girl in my life, so sleep my time is not consistent.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? The SHEEX Down Comforter
Jason High- Mixed Martial Arts
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? I need 10 hours to feel like I got a good night of sleep. Ideally I prefer to just sleep until I wake up without an alarm, which most days could be around 12 hours, but that rarely happens.
How much sleep do you actually get? I’m usually sitting between 7.5 & 9 hours of sleep. I have an app that tracks sleep quality & duration, my average time is just under 8 hours.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? In the winter I absolutely will never use any other sheets than the Sheex Performance Fleece because I hate winter and I never want to be cold in my bed! I also love my SHEEX SLEEP•SAX for when I travel to training camps & fights.
Nicole Smith- LPGA Golfer
How much sleep do you need to get a night to perform at your best? I need about 8-9hours, especially when the days get long and the gym sessions are hard.
How much sleep do you actually get? I get about 8 hours a night.
What SHEEX product can you not live without? I love all the SHEEX products but I cannot live without the original SHEEX Performance Sheets–they are my favorite! I also cannot travel without my SHEEX Travel Pillow.
Coming off an incredible year of both racing and personal achievements, SHEEX Sleep Ambassador Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae looks to build on that success in 2014!
Highlight of 2013: Winning the Ironman World Championships in Kona for the 2nd time (she also won in 2010).
What’s new: Rinny married fellow pro triathlete Timothy O’Donnell in a beautiful winter ceremony in Colorado.
Recent Awards: She was named the Competitor Endurance Live Athlete of the Year. Watch her acceptance speech below.
Upcoming races: Watch for Rinny at the New Orleans 5150 on March 30th, followed by Ironman Brazil 70.3 on April 6th.
2014 Goal: To defend her Ironman World Title in Kona!
At the end of a long training day: Preparing to race a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile marathon all in one day is hard work. To make sure she recovers for each session, Rinny gets plenty of sleep in her SHEEX!
Follow her: Get the latest training and racing updates from the World Champion on her Twitter @Mirindacarfrae
At SHEEX, we are advocates of living a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Naturally this includes plenty of restful sleep, but also quality nutrition and exercise. You may already be aware that proper sleep can help you feel better and be more productive throughout your day and that certain food choices may hinder sleep, but did you know that certain nutritious snacks before bedtime might also help you sleep better? Below are our top bedtime snack recommendations for when our stomachs’ rumble only minutes before we dive into the comfort of our SHEEX for the night:
Cheese: Calcium helps trigger the signals and hormones in your brain that it’s time for sleep. This is the root of the old-school advice to drink warm-milk before bed. We think fancy cheese tastes better and is more sophisticated.
Cherry Juice: It might not be a staple in your fridge, but it should be! Cherry juice naturally boosts melatonin in your body. What’s more tart cherry juice has been praised for its ability to repair muscle tissue, inflammation and reduce soreness after a hard workout!
Cereal and Milk: It may sound like reverse-breakfast but the carbohydrates and calcium found in this classic meal combo work together to help you sleep.
And if this list doesn’t tempt your tummy before bedtime, check out Reader’s Digest for more healthy (and sleepy) options!
As the basketball season draws near, expect to see a lot of action from SHEEX Sleep Ambassador Patty Mills. Originally from Australia, this San Antonio Spurs Guard is already much improved over last season and he sights a summer of hard training to improve his stamina as a major contributing factor. With any increase in training and intensity, sleep quality (and lots of it) is a major requirement to help the body recover, make gains and move on to the next day of training. Patty notes, “Sleep is a vital component of every athlete’s performance, and using SHEEX helps me get the proper rest and recovery I need every night.” Patty is stronger, in excellent shape and readier than ever to step onto the court to help his team and to secure their best season yet! Be sure to keep your eyes on Patty this year via twitter (@Patty_Mills) and for exclusive updates from SHEEX!
The Olympic Games portray athletes at the pinnacle of their sport, and as the select few who have devoted countless hours to training and have dedicated four years of their life to prepare for the event of a lifetime. As spectators and fans we see the electrifying performances and the occasional behind-the-scenes footage of the incredible training regimes the athletes undergo, but what about the routines both Olympians and average Joe’s alike need to perform at their best each day? According to Dr. Michael Gervais, Director of Performance Psychology at California’s Pinnacle Performance Center, the link between quality sleep and an Olympic Gold is real, and fortunately something that is realistic for everyone to utilize to improve their daily performance (full article via mhealthwatch.com here).
“Most of us would agree that elite athletes are required to consistently perform in very demanding environments,” Dr. Gervais says. “For U.S. Olympic team athletes, the difference between a personal-best-performance at the Olympic Games and a disappointing performance can be determined by fractions of a second. Athletes tend to easily understand the link between quality sleep and optimal performance – and most agree that quality sleep is fundamental to consistently performing at a very high level.”
In the article Dr. Gervais discusses making sleep a priority, and this doesn’t mean simply setting aside 8 hours to rest. He urges that optimizing sleep quality and environment are a major factor. He writes that “By being mindful of potentially sleep-obstructing environmental factors such as light, temperature, and noise, an ideal setting for sleep can be cultivated.”
SHEEX can help you master your sleep environment by helping to regulate your core temperature during sleep, while creating a luxuriously soft haven in which you will look forward to logging Olympic quality sleep! Be sure to shop the entire SHEEX Collection to create your gold medal bedroom!
I have to be honest, I was pretty nervous the two weeks leading up to traveling to Sochi, Russia. The nightly news was not very comforting to say the least. My Mom was convinced that I would not go at the last minute, and her voice message to me as I boarded my plane at JFK was, “Hi Honey, I know you are thinking of leaving today but I am not sure if you are actually going!” Moms will always be Moms, and always worry about their children, no matter what their age. My brother, Susan (SHEEX Co-Founder), friends and colleagues all echoed the same sentiment, “Be safe.”
All worries aside, I can say this–I have never felt more secure at any major event in my life. Police officers were everywhere, EVERYWHERE and I mean everywhere! They had wands, they had guns tucked away invisible to the public, they had massive checkpoints, they had metal detectors, X-Ray scanners, they had snipers in the mountains, they had security ‘blimps’ floating in the sky, they had bomb-sniffing dogs, they had mirrored car checks (random and routine) even for the cars and buses wrapped in Sochi 2014. At each checkpoint, the drivers got out of the cars and buses and got patted down. They even had guards along the runway at the airport, guards lining the coastline and guards at every 100 yards of the rail system.
The volunteers dressed in a bright cheery blue were all smiles, while the policeman dressed in purple (you can tell they hated their outfits!) were no nonsense, and the Russian military had on hard-core black military threads and ‘never cracked a smile.’
What was so neat though, is the spirit of the Olympic Games was alive and well from the moment we landed in Sochi.
The Black Sea snuggled in next to what was called the ‘Coastal Cluster’ of the Games where every non-mountain event took place. It was a venue where the Olympic flame stood stories high in the center of it all and a place that looked and felt as what a Olympic Park should feel like: music, huge monstrosity of buildings (which you can tell were built for the exclusive purpose of the Olympics), spectators wearing their country’s colors scurrying to events, water features, fireworks and games for children.
The Russians left no rock unturned to create the robust feel of an Olympic celebration. And if you are wondering if the Ring of Steel felt like a Ring–why yes it did. We were strongly encouraged to never leave it, and you felt safe while in it because security was at a max at every turn.
Fully equiped with a credential that read, “All,” the Olympics were amazing! A Winter Olympics of grand proportion. Typically, the Winter Olympics are on a smaller scale than the Summer Olympics, but Sochi 2014 was nowhere in step with ‘typical.’
The Opening Ceremonies were like watching a Broadway Show on steroids. Most interesting to me was the entire ceremony being geared in the direction of Putin, telling stories of Russia with each scene that entered the stadium. Putin stood high above the entire Olympic stadium, facing his Olympic Games, watching every move of his $500 million dollar production nearly flawlessly orchestrated. nearly flawlessly of his 500 million dollar production. The message was clear to the world, at least in my observation–that the success of these games were of the utmost importance to him and the country of Russia.
As we walked out of the stadium that night, we observed the most intense display of fireworks I personally have ever seen. So bright that it seemed to recreate daylight, at almost midnight, in the Sochi sky. At that moment, it made me forget about where I was and any security concern threatening the USA.
Although I was only in Sochi for exactly 2.5 days, my time at the Winter Olympic Games was a once in a lifetime experience. Watching events (Moguls, Long Track Skating & Ice Hockey), meeting people from different corporations and different countries, to experiencing the Russian culture, I was in my comfort zone as a former elite athlete and could feel the energy of sport filtering through everyone’s blood.
The competition, the magnitude of what the Olympics means and the spirit in which it is played out on the largest stage ever for each athlete – - – Simply amazing.
Here are some highlights from my trip:
We landed in Sochi, picked up our credentials at accreditation and headed straight for Opening Ceremonies with (l-r) Rob Prazmark, Holly Humphrey, Tom Shepard, Beth Brooke and myself.
We ran into a group of female physicians who had volunteered their services at the Olympic Games.
Beautiful vistas during my six mile morning run along the Black Sea even with evacuation ships in clear sight sitting right off the shore.
Enjoyed seeing USA Women’s Hockey — the fastest team on skates – take their opening win.
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the chief medical editor for NBC News, provided a helpful tutorial on Russian “vudka.”
You never know who you will meet up on the mountain. I remember watching Summer Sanders swim for Olympic gold and I enjoyed meeting the former swimmer who is now a commentator here in Sochi.
My favorite volunteer–Demi even wanted an autograph!
Mr. Masato Mizuno–I love my running shoes!
Take a look at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games through the Tweets of SHEEX Co-Founder and Co-CEO Michelle Marciniak! Be sure to follow Michelle on Twitter (@mmarciniak3) for more Sochi memories and an inside look at the world of SHEEX!
Blending style and comfort for lounging and better sleep, the SHEEX Performance Sleepwear Men’s Lounge Hoodie is a “February Style Must-Have” according to Men’s Health Magazine. Sleep is critical to getting the most out of your workout or day at the office, and while this stylish hoodie will help ensure that you sleep in comfort for optimum daily performance, the biggest problem may be not wanting to ever take it off! Ladies take note: This Lounge Hoodie is a great Valentine’s Day gift idea for the man in your life!
SHEEX Sleep Ambassador Cliff Avril, Seattle Seahawks Pro Defensive End, helped his team dominate Superbowl XLVIII this weekend. We sat on the edge of our seats as Cliff and the extremely strong Seattle defense helped produce a runaway game with a final score of 43-8 against the Denver Broncos. Congratulations to Cliff and we wish him the ultimate recovery from a long and successful season, which of course will include plenty of sleep on his SHEEX!
Follow Cliff Avril on Twitter (@cliffavril) for insider details from a SHEEX Sleep Ambassador and Superbowl Champion!
Ski and Snowboard season is in full swing and while it’s obvious that you need to pack your winter jacket, boots and skis, we encourage you to not overlook traveling with your SHEEX.
SHEEX Sleep Ambassador and Freeskiier Jackie Paaso (pictured above) recently traveled to Chamonix/Mt. Blanc in France where she won a stage of the Free Ride World Tour (video from Daily Motion here). While jumping planes to the world’s most famous peaks and powder destinations, Jackie always flies with the SHEEX SLEEP•SAX and travel pillow. The SLEEP•SAX helps her drift to sleep on long flights because of the the luxuriously soft feel and comfort, all while helping her stay cool and comfortable in the often hot and stuffy airplane cabin.
For extra warmth during the winter, the Fleece Travel Blanket and Pillowcase will keep you cozy without overheating thanks to our SHEEX Exclusive SLEEP•FIT Technology™ that wicks moisture and offers breathability.
And if you have your own mountain cabin (or are even taking a road trip to the nearest ski resort), outfit your bedroom with our entire line of Performance Fleece that feels soft and plush against your skin, and will keep you warm, cozy and comfortable throughout the night. Wishing you all great ski adventures and even better sleep!