NFL, Sleep Number will use smart beds to help players sleep better

By Laura Lovett
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Whether you're Tom Brady or Nick Foles, getting a good night's sleep is key for professional athletes. Just days before the Super Bowl, the National Football League announced that it is teaming up with Sleep Number for a multi-year partnership aimed at helping the players get better sleep. 

“We are constantly assessing world-class technologies and partners and know this unprecedented partnership will provide players the ability to improve their performance through individualized, smarter sleep,” Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, said in a statement. “We’re offering Sleep Number’s revolutionary technology to maximize the body’s most basic need for renewal – sleep – to improve the well-being of our players and coaches.”

As part of the deal, every player in the league will be offered a Sleep Number 360 smart bed with Sleep IQ technology. The goal is for the technology to be used to help players health and performance. According to the announcement, the partnership will also be used to strengthen Sleep Number’s sleep data insights. 

The company debuted the 360 Smart Bed at CES 2017. The bed works with Sleep IQ to track heart rate, motion and breathing. The activity is then sent to the companion app so users can track their sleep over time and learn about their Sleep IQ score. 

The idea is for the information to then be used by trainers and players to help enhance their performance. 

In addition to the sleep insights, the beds use technology to sense the user’s movements and will automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support, according to its . 

This isn’t the first connected sleep tracker that the NFL has invested in. In the spring, the NFL named Boston-based Whoop the Official Licensed Recovery Wearable of the NFL. The wearable wristband tracks, among other data points, sleep. 

Sleep has been a focus of the NFL in recent years. In November when the Jets played in London the team got strict sleep instructions including no caffeine after 2 p.m. and no alcohol three hours before bedtime. According to , each team member got a sleep kit including orange-colored glasses for players to use when on their phones at night and a Litebook, which resets circadian rhythms in a new time zone. 

“We’re excited to make a difference for these world-class athletes as they benefit from our SleepIQ technology and the effortless adjustability of our beds. And we are thrilled to be entering a long-term partnership with a performance-based organization like the NFL,” Shelly Ibach, Sleep Number president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Our partnership builds on the deep relationship we’ve established with the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys, who understand the connection between sleep, training and performance.”

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