Sportress of Blogitude

Russell Wilson clearly not a big proponent of sleep science


Despite an abundance of empirical evidence to the contrary, Seattle Seahawks signal-caller Russell Wilson downplayed the notion that a person needs to get a lot of sleep, suggesting he only requires between five and six hours of rest each night to function at a high level.

“Do you think I pay attention to the sleep hours? No, I don’t pay attention,” he said, via ESPN. “That’s definitely something I don’t pay attention to. I actually go the opposite way. My philosophy is that the less sleep you get — kids, don’t listen to this — the less sleep you get, in terms of as long as you’re using those sleepless hours for a purpose, I think it gives you a good chance.”

Recent studies suggest that a professional football player should get between eight and nine hours of rest each night. The need to integrate sleep science into player care is quickly starting to pique the interests of NFL teams and their training staffs.

But Wilson isn’t buying it.

“So for me, I think getting five, six hours is plenty. I think that during the week, Monday through Friday pretty much, I try to get five hours,” he said. “If I get five hours, I’m good. …I think that my attention can be alert then, and I can be alert in practice and be in tune with every moment, every little detail and all that. Then come game time, on Friday nights and Saturday nights, I get 10 hours of sleep. So come Sunday, I’m very alert. …So that’s just kind of my crazy philosophy. But that’s why I always say there’s no time to sleep.

It’s hard to argue with how it’s worked out for Wilson. He’s the hottest quarterback in the NFL at the moment, breaking league records while leading the Seahawks on a five-game winning streak.

It’s strange, though, for Wilson to reject such sound science. Apparently, unless it involves some pseudo-scientific claims befitting a snake oil salesman concerning the concussion-curing impact of “nanobubbles” and the like, Wilson isn’t buying it.