"You snooze, you win"

You’ve surely read the sleep is important, and that you need to sleep a lot but not too much and when you do sleep you should sleep a certain way or else you’ll die.

These days, soccer teams across Europe are taking sleep, and the quality of sleep, very seriously. BBC detailed how many of the world’s biggest clubs hired sleep coaches, like Nick Littlehales, to monitor players sleeping habits, then help them get the best rest. At Real Madrid, then-new signing Gareth Bale asked for a personal consultation:

Bale’s biological clock - or circadian rhythm  to give it its proper title - means he naturally falls asleep and wakes up at later times, leaving his energy levels at their lowest early in the morning, before peaking in the afternoon.

It’s a problem Littlehales has encountered with countless athletes and in a bid to combat disruption to the body’s preset patterns - which can also occur following European fixtures which finish late in the evening - he recommends naps.

One player he worked with at Manchester City told him of his routine in the aftermath of Champions League games, which would see him stay up until 4am as he struggled to get to sleep with the adrenaline from the game still in his system.

The report also links to an article by Inside The Athletic Grind, which details how many other athletes, including Lebron James, sleep for at least 10 hours a day.

Edit: This report came out hours before it was confirmed that Real Madrid will be missing four key players, including Bale, due to injury.