The Brazilian Olympic Committee has enlisted the help of sleep consultants to help athletes be prepared for late-night competitions at the 2016 Olympics, reports Rio 2016.

It is one of the more unusual challenges that face Olympic athletes chasing gold: how to ensure their bodies and minds are ready to compete at peak level at times when they would normally be tucked up in bed.

Competitors in athletics will in some cases be in action after 11pm during the Rio 2016 Games, while some swimming events will continue past midnight. The volleyball schedule also regularly runs into the following day and the beach volleyball medals will be decided after 1am.

Luckily expert help is at hand. Like most major teams in the run-up to Rio 2016, the Brazilian Olympic Committee is calling in specialist sleep consultants to make sure that athletes are ready to perform late-night heroics.

“It is not a time which is propitious to physical performance,” says sleep consultant Marco Túlio de Melio, who is advising the Brazilian team. “In fact, it’s the worst time, when the body temperature curve is decreasing and performance is declining after reaching its peak between 6pm and 10pm.”

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