Idolizing Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan created a cult of insane work hours - many young players think they can work out three times a day on 4-5 hours of sleep. Golden State Warriors veteran forward Andre Iguodala, who speaks based on experience, believes that sacrificing sleep is one of the biggest mistakes young players make.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations about the perception of sleep throughout the years,” Iguodala said, as reported by Boardroom. “One of the main ones in our [NBA] community was that if you sleep, someone else is outworking you, or sleep is the cousin of death. There are all these misconceptions around sleep, and we are trying to put those to bed,” Iguodala added.
Sleep is not for the weak.
Iguodala, who’s featured in the documentary “Quest for sleep” as a prominent voice, realized the importance of sleep the hard way. The NBA champion admitted that he was never worried about rest when he was young, but as he got older, the three-time champion said he’d needed more sleep than ever to continue being an effective player on the court.
“Once you start getting into the second half of your career as a professional athlete, you start thinking about how you can be more efficient,” the 38-year-old said. “When your physical attributes start to decline, you start thinking of ways you can keep up. There is power in learning how the mind works. And this gives us the opportunity to understand how rest and recovery have its dividends to it. There are financial benefits to getting the proper recovery."
As a 25-year-old adult who tries to aim high at work while balancing my social life, I am a victim of sacrificing sleep as part of my routine. And let me tell you firsthand that it’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made. I agree with Iguodala’s premise here in saying that sleep not only helps one to recover but also aids in helping the brain think smarter.
Studies have proven that not getting enough sleep has long-term effects on the brain and one’s physical performance. So just like what Iguodala said, the more sleep you get, the more effective you can be at work and in your daily routine.
A trending realization by the all-time greats
Iguodala isn’t the first NBA veteran to share their experience of realizing the importance of sleep in the latter years of their career.
Even LeBron James, dubbed as one of the most durable players of all time, once mentioned that he squeezes in 12 hours of sleep daily. James sleeps so much for recovery that even his teammate and best friend Anthony Davis said that “James sleeps more than anyone he knows.”
It’s great to see veterans like Iguodala and James share their realization about the importance of sleep, especially to a generation that doesn’t make it a priority. What we can learn from James and Iguodala here is that getting enough rest is as vital as working hard.