View Online, Pick Up at our Springfield or Branson (Hollister) Stores

Springfield | 417-890-5788 | Reviews
Branson (Hollister) | 417-334-9784 | Reviews

Slam Dunk Slumber

Your Guide to March Madness Sleep

Where did March Madness come from? The Oregon Ducks won the first National March Madness title for NCAA Division I men’s basketball in 1939. At that time, March Madness only included eight teams. Twelve years later, that number had doubled to sixteen teams. Fast-forward to 1985, and the format of the tournament began with sixty-four teams. The tournament continued to expand. Currently, there are sixty-eight March Madness teams that play in the tournament.

Does Circadian Rhythm Affect Athletes?

Dr. Cathy Goldstein, M.D., M.S. is quoted in “March Madness With a Dose of Sleep Science” as saying, “College basketball teams playing at a biological late afternoon or early evening time have a circadian advantage.” She goes on to say your circadian rhythm ties into how well you perform. This is logical, considering that your circadian rhythm will determine if you are a lark (early-riser) or owl (late-night sleeper). You can use your specific sleep type to optimize your performance. According to Dr. Goldstein, your body creates melatonin two hours before you typically go to bed. You will get sleepier from that point on, and your ability to function well will steadily drop until you’re ready to sleep.

Basketball Players Need Eight Hours of Sleep

How does sleep affect athletes, coaches, and busy professionals? Sleep plays an important role in aiding peak physical performance. With the excitement of March Madness, sleep might be the last thing on the mind of a player and viewer. But seven to nine hours of sleep can help an athlete, and any person hoping to optimize performance, in the following ways:

  • Creates a strong immune system to stay healthy throughout the entire basketball season
  • Heals tissues and repairs muscles after a hard practice or game where the body has been strained and pushed past the point of normal wear and tear
  • Increases memory, which will optimize learning plays ahead of time and remembering them when it counts
  • Sharpens ability to make quick decisions, which is necessary when out on the court
  • Controls impulses when the game gets tough and the emotions run high

Using Sleep to Help You Pick Your Brackets

Take into consideration how much travel time a team has before they arrive at the game they are playing for the tournament. Remember that the circadian rhythm of an athlete is likely to stay with their own time zone back home no matter where they travel. When you pick your teams for your brackets, you can use that knowledge to your advantage. Will a game take place during a time zone that won’t agree with the athletic team? It will make a difference in the overall performance of the team, if the players are playing in their original time zone.

Overall Madness of Busy Life

It goes without saying, we are busier than we’ve ever been. While we have technology to organize technology, we still manage to cram every spare moment of our days with important “to-do” errands. Between work, children’s activities, and friends, (not to mention stopping to eat at times), we don’t take time to stop and relax. Maybe you look forward to March Madness every year because it gives you an excuse to do just that—put your feet up and relax. You have an appointment with your favorite college basketball stars. Let’s talk more about how to take the running and busyness of March Madness and turn it into a time to unwind and destress.

Napping and Sleeping Love

March is a special month not only for those who participate in sports but for those who follow the basketball tournaments of March Madness. Are you staying up late to watch March Madness basketball tournaments? While this is an exciting season where sleep doesn’t tend to be the priority, we know the lack of sleep can affect your everyday performance. Here are some ways you, basketball players, and coaches, can get a better night’s sleep.

  • Slow down and take a nap during the day. Twenty to thirty minutes is optimal for napping.
  • Take a hot shower or warm bath. Hot water raises our temperature initially and then drops it, making us sleepy.
  • Put down your screen before bed. Electronics give us an adrenaline boost and looking at it right before bed halts our melatonin production which makes it harder to sleep.
  • Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier each night until you notice you are getting a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  • Write it down. When you’re trying to sleep and your mind is full of thoughts and plans you need to tackle the next day, it’s helpful to get it out of your head and onto paper. Peace of mind goes a long way toward a good night’s sleep.

Enjoy the Games, Relax, and Sleep Well in the Midst of Madness

Getting a better night’s rest during March Madness doesn’t have to be impossible. While the excitement of the games gives you an adrenaline boost, it’s achievable to come down from that and relax. If you try all the suggestions in this article and find you still can’t sleep, it might be time to consider getting a new mattress. If you’re ready to relax and sleep well, check out this sleep gallery. Better yet, go and talk to a sleep expert. That, or you can take a nap on a mattress at Beautyrest Sleep Gallery to make sure the bed is going to be a good fit for you. It is possible to nap and sleep well even during the season of madness.


Michigan Medicine University of Michigan. (March 20, 2019). “March Madness With a Dose of Sleep Science.”