Sleeping Giants: Are “Zzzz”s the NBA’s next big performance metric?

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Between cross-country travel, early practices and shootarounds and the notorious back-to-backs, NBA players don’t get the rest and recovery they need to play at full strength. This isn’t merely an issue of wear-and-tear on the court. Much of the problem resides in something more basic and relatable to all of us — sleep.

Over the past few years, a growing number of NBA teams have begun to consult with leading academics in the field of sleep medicine. Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School is one such expert.

Czeisler has found some receptive audiences in the league who have embraced the idea that sleep matters, that having players who are sufficiently recharged means players who are more alert and able to perform.

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