29 Nov Get sleep or get out…
All of our test cricket fans working here in the sleep lab got quite excited when Fox Sports published an article today about Australian cricketer Steve Smith’s batting average decreasing throughout an innings – as his sleep restriction increases. Steve Smith spends a lot of time in bed thinking about the match, losing sleep counting runs rather than sheep… or ducks.
When we say all ‘the test cricket fans in the sleep lab’, we really mean just our lab manager Phil.
We know that sleep restriction can reduce cognitive function, reducing reaction times. So it’s a logical inference that Jacob Polychronis, the articles author makes in this article. Although Phil is quick to point out that pitch deterioration, ongoing mental fatigue, match progression etc can also weigh into a batters average runs which may naturally be expected to decrease as a match goes on. It is not unlikely that Jacob has made a good point here, sleep in athletes is an area of interest for a lot of sports scientists.
It does sound like Steve Smith may need to work on his sleep hygiene during a match. The article also points out that Steve Smith has a 10% stake in a mattress company, which has netted him capital gains north of $11 million. So while he may lose sleep over scoring runs, after the match we think it’s fairly likely that he will sleep pretty well at night.
See the original article here: