How Science Helped the Warriors Sleep Their Way to Success
It isn't the way you think
For 10 years, Andre Iguodala slept terribly. Back in college, the Golden State Warriors forward would play video games late into the night. Eventually he'd crash, sometimes as late as 4 am, only to wake up a few hours later for practice. Then came class. When he was lucky, he'd squeeze in an afternoon nap. Later that night, it'd be back to video games—either that or Fresh Prince reruns.
Iguodala's brutal sleep habits followed him to the NBA. Only in 2013, after joining the Warriors, did he manage to connect with Cheri Mah, a physician scientist at the UC San Francisco's Human Performance Center.
"Sleep duration is important, but we also focused on the quality and timing of Andre's sleep," says Mah, who consults with teams in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA—including the Warriors—on sleep and recovery strategies. "We worked on his caffeine intake, his nutrition, his wind-down routine. Big picture, we worked on his whole approach to sleep, to make it more of a priority."
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