From nutrition to training, conditioning, and hydration, the management of the best players and teams in the world is about daily optimization. However, Strength Coaches, Athletic Trainers and Performance Directors often lack the objective data to affect one of the most important factors in high-performance readiness: sleep.

Measuring and managing sleep is the cornerstone of high-performance sports management.

On the field, court, and ice, athletes and managers witness how quality of play is compromised or enhanced by the amount of sleep athletes get. For example, a Stanford University study found that, after obtaining extra sleep for several weeks, competitive swimmers were faster and more powerful (below).


Performance gains from extended sleep amongst competitive swimmers

Extended sleep and the effects on mood and athletic performance in collegiate swimmers
“With Fatigue Science, we’re teaching players: sleep is a weapon.”
— Sam Ramsden, Director of Player Health & Performance, Seattle Seahawks
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Recovery: the foundation of a powerhouse

Strenuous training schedules, circadian disruptions from travel, and disturbed or restricted sleep strain the body’s performance potential and recovery mechanisms. When athletes compete without adequate sleep, they make mistakes, react slower, experience difficulties with situational awareness and motivation, and suffer mood disturbances—all of which translates to competitive shortfall.

Nutrition, hydration, and training regimens seek to help every athlete feel energized at game time, bounce back from intensive training, prevent injury, and stay mentally focused. Sleep is the glue that holds all that hard work together, making for more durable athletes.

effectiveness curve for two sleepers

A tale of two sleepers and what it means for them at gametime

Player A is a good sleeper, averaging close to 9hrs of quality sleep each night. At the start of an evening game, his effectiveness score is a healthy 98, meaning his decision making ability, physical and physiological potential are at their peak. Player B, however, averages about 7hrs of sleep, and the night before the game got less than 6hrs. His cognitive fatigue from inadequate sleep slows his reaction time by 20%.

“Sleep is at the foundation of player recovery and performance and the Readiband system gives us objective, actionable insight.”
— Leigh Weiss, Physical Therapist/Assistant Athletic Trainer, New York Football Giants
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Trainers and coaches need the visibility to ensure the recovery of every player, every day:

  • How does sleep impact our team’s ability to perform at its best when it counts? Do we see alarming trends that could be connected to our travel and training schedule?
  • How can we mitigate fatigue to lengthen a streak of excellent play?
  • Knowing that our season is intensifying next month, can we project ahead to improve our travel plans?
  • Is our team becoming more fatigued over the life of the season? What can we do now to keep energy levels high all the way through to the finals?

The pressure of the long game is just as profound as that of the short game. Good recovery—as delivered by sleep—is the tipping point. The best sleepers are also some of the most durable athletes with the longest careers. [1]

Now, there’s a way to make sure of it.



Unlock the competitive advantage of sleep with the Team Platform

In the pressure cooker of professional sports, every sliver of improvement adds up to better performance, fan engagement, return on investment, and pride. The Team Platform is a sophisticated solution to a common sense problem—helping teams to optimize the machine of the human body to be ready, in every possible way, to win.


FS Readiband: the most accurate wrist-worn sleep detection device

A polysomnography lab is the gold standard of sleep measurement, but its electrodes, unnatural environment, and cost makes ongoing lab study unrealistic. On the other end of the spectrum, asking athletes to self-report on their sleep patterns is subjective and inaccurate. [2, Table 2]

The Readiband, a passive bracelet that requires no input from the wearer, is scientifically tested and found to be 93% accurate relative to polysomnography results—but without the invasiveness and cost.

60 day battery life, FDA approved, Waterproof, Medical grade, Made in the USA

Quantify sleep’s impact on your team’s performance

After the long flights and time zone changes inherent to professional sports, players and teams run the risk of showing up tired to season-critical games. For management, it’s about managing that inherent fatigue—and making the most of athletes’ ability to perform at their best

  • Learn how sleep and circadian factors directly impact performance
  • Identify low performance periods resulting from loss of sleep and body-clock disruption
  • Understand the quantity and quality of athletes’ post-game or post-travel sleep, and how restorative that sleep is
  • Spot team performance trends leading up to the next game

Case study: one day between games with timezone travel in-between

Coming off a big game on the 8th, the team travelled across two time zones for their next game on the 10th. Due to the travel and its disruption to their sleep and body clocks, it took them four days to recover. An effectiveness score of 89 means reaction time is slowed by 12%.

effectiveness curve impacted by travel after a game

Better manage athlete health and performance

At a glance, see who’s sleeping like a champ, and who might need some help.

  • Quickly screen for abnormal sleep patterns
  • Focus resources on athletes that need the most attention
  • Identify lifestyle habits that may be negatively effecting an athlete’s sleep
  • Demonstrate how better sleep can take even your best performers to a new level
  • Make game-time decisions based on which athletes are optimally rested
  • Monitor sleep debt levels and make informed decisions to build more durable athletes

Ease-of-use and team-wide visibility

flexible export icon

Flexible export

Team, group or individual data can be exported in CSV format.

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Athlete grouping

Flexible grouping means you can generate reports for rookies, offensive players, or injured players.

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Date range control

View sleep data for the whole season, or just the past week.


Learn how Fatigue Science can help improve your team’s performance

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25 years of research delivers the world’s most untapped performance gain

The SAFTE model—the foundation of our Team Platform—is the product of over 25 years of applied research by some of the US military's brightest minds, who were tasked with understanding the effect of disrupted sleep on critical operations.

From this research, a biomathematical algorithm called SAFTE was developed to simulate the effects of sleep loss on cognitive effectiveness and reaction time. This became software that’s now used to mitigate the effects of fatigue onboard Air Force One and for B2 Bomber crews.

SAFTE’s accurate prediction of the effects of fatigue on reaction time was proven through a number of studies, including those conducted by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration

Fatigue Science was granted the exclusive rights to use SAFTE as a springboard. With it, our engineers built the most advanced wearable fatigue measurement system in the world.


Sleep and the performance connection: must-read insights

Sleep is a weapon: How sports teams are using Fatigue Science to discover the secrets of sleep

“…athletes have among the most challenging work schedules of anyone. Games occur often at night, at different times of day, and in different cities across far-flung time zones.” With such arduous game and travel schedules, minimizing fatigue becomes crucial to staying healthy and performing at an optimal level…”

Read David Ebner’s article on The Globe and Mail

Harvard opts for wrist-worn sleep study

For all the disciplines in urgent need of optimal rest and performance, lab-based polysomnography tests aren’t practical. This University study found that surgical residents were fatigued during 48% and impaired during 27% of their time awake, which led to new policies on rotations and methods to improve performance.

Learn how Harvard has used Readiband in their research with surgical residents

The 93%-accurate solution

Sleep lab testing is costly, disruptive, and provides data based on one night of sleep hooked up to wires and monitors. Readiband is FDA-cleared, 93% accurate against clinical lab tests, and easy to use on the road or at home, for data insight that’s true to the day-to-day life and self-care of every high performer.

Readiband 93% valid relative to polysomnography paper [PDF]

SAFTE Algorithm

The Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness (SAFTE) model was invented by Dr. Hursch, currently the President of the Institutes for Behavior Resources and Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Biology, John Hopkins University School of Medicine. SAFTE has received a broad scientific review and the US Department of Defense considers it their fatigue model of choice to aid in operator and critical mission training. The model is an algorithm, which processes information about sleep patterns, time of day, and sleep inertia to predict reaction time.

Learn more about the role it plays in predicting fatigue

Sleep, assessment, and player self-care

It’s not as simple as asking players how rested they feel—a Stanford University study demonstrated that basketball players overestimated their sleep by as much as 70 minutes per night.

Stanford University Sleep Extension Study (Table 2, p. 946)

From data to insight: the sleep tracker landscape

There are other devices that do an adequate job of capturing sleep data, but without reliability and actionable insight across a team. Readiband automatically detects sleep patterns and reports back with no input required from athletes.

Livescience report on the accuracy of consumer sleep trackers

Additional research

Sleep has been attributed to everything from faster sprint times, improved accuracy to overall performance and career longevity in athletes.

A deeper reading list on the sleep and performance connection