I have said it before and I am going to say it again. Sleep (in mass quantities) is an essential aspect of a successful training regimen.
A recent article in the NY Times covers this very topic:
The article states that a handful NBA teams have dropped their morning shootarounds in an effort to allow their players to get more sleep. NBA games typically end around 10PM and by the time players have showered, been interviewed, and had something to eat they will normally not be in bed until 3 AM or 4AM. The vast majority of NBA teams hold what they call a shootaround the morning before a game. NBA teams typically play 6 games a week and are consequently guaranteed to frequently play back to back games, which normally entails going to bed late and getting up early for a shootaround (early being relative, something like 8AM).
NBA players are playing 48 minutes of high intensity basketball 6 nights a week and their bodies take a beating. Performing optimally night in and night out on 5 hours of sleep is simply unrealistic. Most notably the San Antonio Spurs, the Boston Celtics and the Portland Trailers have dropped their AM shootarounds. It is no surprise that their nightly performance has sky rocketed.
Doc Rivers, the coach of the Celtics, was quoted in the article. ““If you go three, four, five days in a row with less than six hours of sleep, your reaction time is comparable to that of someone legally drunk,” Rivers said. “You’re trying to play a basketball game where just a 10th of second, a degree off, throws your whole game off.”
So sleep more and you will perform like an NBA player... maybe not, but it is an undeniable fact that sleep restores neurons and sleeping 8-10hours a night will do wonders for one’s mental clarity, focus, and physical performance. To quote Robb Wolf (www.robbwolf.com) “Sleep as much as you can without getting divorced or fired...and if the marriage is shaky and the job is lame, just sleep as much as you can.”