Even though athletes spent over 1/3 of a 24h day in their bed, solid sleep is still one of the most underrated elements in athletes’ training. CCC Sprandi Polkowice is aware of the importance and the effect that a good night’s sleep has on the riders’ form though and for that reason the team has established a cooperation with BestMI, which provides the squad with SleepAngel products.
Sleep is the most important element of recovery, not only for professional athletes, but also for everyone of us – says Piotr Kosielski, CCC Sprandi Polkowice’s doctor. – Our riders, unlike most of the people, can sleep for 8-9 hours a day, but they rarely spend this time in their own bed at home. For example, during Giro d’Italia we switched hotels 20 times in a month, which meant 20 different beds, mattresses, bedding and pillows. Instead of resting, the body of cyclists had to adapt to new conditions. As a team, we’re trying to do everything in our power to minimize this variability.
To do so, we used special mattress overlays and thanks to the use of thermovision, we could analyze the weight distribution on the bed. We monitored sleep of the riders, analyzed number of movements, heart rate, breathing, the time required to fall asleep, the number of awakenings and the length of particular sleep phases. We set up special supplementation programs, implemented relaxation techniques to help fall asleep and we educated the riders. This season, they’ve also received their own antibacterial, anatomic cushions, which conform to natural curvatures of cervical spine. These pillows are easy to disinfect and have a special filter that prevents them from being transformed into a habitat of allergens and bacteria, as this is the case with regular pillows.
Adequate sleep and sleeping position is not only crucial for recovery of tired muscles after a training session. It may also prevent injuries or neck and back pain.
Cervical spine of cyclists is particularly burdened by the specific position they are in, while riding their bike. Thanks to the profiling of the pillow, the cervical segment has sufficient support surface during sleep. This eliminates pathological tension that can cause discomfort during the race – physiotherapist of Polkowice-based team, Bartłomiej Czerwiński explains.
This is the theory and at the end of the day it’s the riders’ opinion that should matter the most. And they are more than satisfied with SleepAngel pillows.
Since I’ve been using it, the quality of my sleep has improved significantly. The pillow always returns to the initial state, regardless of the time of use and it always adapts to the position of head and neck. The number of awakening at night also decreased – Łukasz Owsian, one of the top riders of CCC Sprandi Polkowice and the winner of CCC Tour – Grody Piastowskie explains. – I’d had problems with my neck after waking up, but after I started using SleepAngel cushion, this discomfort was gradually fading. Now, I don’t feel any pain anymore and I get out of bed not sore, but well-rested.
Thanks to the courtesy of BestMI, this season, “Riders in orange” can use SleepAngel orthopedic pillows, both at home and during races and training camps.