Stanford researcher Cheri Mah, MS, examined the impact of sleep on athletic performance, as reported by The Atlantic.
But instead of focusing on the effects of a lack of sleep, it’s more interesting to explore additional sleep as an advantage. If an athlete gets more sleep than his or her competitors, will that lead to an edge? That’s just the question that Stanford researcher Cheri D. Mah set out to answer. She reached out to athletes at her university, trying to find a group that would participate in an experiment in which they would first measure their athletic performance after having their normal amount of sleep, and then spend weeks trying to extend their sleep as much as possible, to see what effect it would have on objective measurements of athletic performance. Amazingly, no one had ever done a study to see the effect of sleep extension on competitive athletes.