They run, they make and receive hard passes and they tackle. These are but some of the strenuous physical skills rugby players need to master to score goals in the high-intensity sport. But as they give this much energy on the field, so do their bodies require just as much to fully recover.
Importance of sleep
Science says that athletes need quality sleep in order to perform better in their chosen sport. The Sleep Institute Journal explains that hydration and the right fuel are only part of training and recovery. Research suggests that adequate sleep plays an important part in athletic performance.
Sleep deprivation increases levels of the stress hormone, cortisol and has also been seen to decrease production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy use during physical activity. In short, less sleep increases the possibility of fatigue, low energy and poor focus during practice or at an actual game and may also affect post-game recovery.
Fueled by quality sleep
As the Rugby flag-carriers of the country, the Philippine Volcanoes and Lady Volcanoes know very well the importance that quality sleep plays in their training and recovery, and they talk about how they are able to achieve this through their Tempur sleep mask and Tempur Travel set, in which the latter includes a Tempur mattress topper and travel pillow.
A handful of athletes from Philippine Volcanoes such as Nick Jones, Jaime Chuidian, Evan Spargo, Ysabel De Fierro and Happy Denuyo shared to the media their experiences on how they rely on sleep to come out in top form on the field.
“Sleep is essential to keep us focused when preparing for a game and helps a lot for our recovery,”ｱ Chuidian said.
“Rugby is a technical sport and sleep keeps me focused in the mindset that I’m in during the game,” De Fierro added.
To get her into deep sleep, Denuyo shared that she has a playlist of meditation music that relaxes her and soothes her anxiety.
“As athletes, we are required to sleep for a certain number of hours and we get to nap 20 minutes so we can be re-energized,” she explained.
For Spargo, a good night’s sleep of seven to nine hours is crucial, “I try my best to achieve that so that I wake up refreshed and ready for training.”
According to their team manager Jake Letts, while they are highly aware of the importance of sleep and its connection to better playing performance, their conditions are not always best for a complete night’s rest.
“I would just like to point out the challenges that these guys go through, since they are provided with only the basics when we go to camp or training or even when we travel to compete. The team receives a regular mattress and a pillow, and I know that these are not the most comfortable things to have especially after training two to four hours daily; add that to having to travel when they compete. Having Tempur Travel set will allow them to get the required amount of sleep to energize them before a game and help them to recover more quickly after,” the team manager intoned.
De Fierro noted that their Tempur products have helped her a lot in getting the rest she deserves.
“Tempur is something that we need. It’s critical because at training camp and during travel, ours is not the most ideal environment. During travel, it’s also important to support the neck the way Tempur does,” the Lady Volcano said.
Jones, who knows that Tempur is a big brand in the US because his college classmates used to have these, also noticed that he wakes up without stiff neck and shoulders from trainings since using the Tempur.
“Now, aside from sleeping better, I wake up free from aches and pains,” he shared.
On the other hand, Chuidian, who grew up with parents who used Tempur adjustable beds, mattresses and pillows at home recounted, “I grew up using Tempur and I really love how it’s so firm yet really comfortable. It’s amazing because it adjusts to the shape of your body. In all its technical aspects, it is beneficial to athletes like us who train so hard and compete harder. It adjusts to the shape of our bodies so we get rested up more.”
Foundation of good performance
Rugby is an intense and, at times, brutal sport. Spargo knows this for a fact.
“Our training is very hard because ours is such a fast sport. It has such high intensity with a lot of running, speed work, tackling, pressure work and contact. So we have to train like we play,” he said, adding that the foundation of a good performance is quality sleep.
“It’s the time when your body recovers and energy system is replenished. It’s very important before and after training so we can continuously improve and play according to the standard we want to.” And if there is one thing that he is grateful for when it comes to getting a good night’s rest, it’s his Tempur travel kit.
“The travel mattress is so soft and it relaxes my body. I lie on it and I just get into a relaxation mode,” he said, because Tempur contours precisely to the body.
It was in the 1970s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration developed a pressure absorbing material to help cushion and support astronauts during lift-off.
Scientists working at what would become Tempur production facilities perfected this material for use in sleep products. Today, it is the only mattress and pillow brand licensed by the US Space Foundation to use the Certified Technology Seal.