Lebron James does just about anything he can to maximize his sleep, especially on the road.
He sets his room temperature to 68-70 degrees, turns all electronics off 35-40 minutes before he goes to bed, and uses a sleep app with calming noise to help him relax and fall asleep.
James understands the importance of getting REM sleep saying, "there's nothing more important."
And what about the 42-year old quarterback from the New England Patriots, Tom Brady? The 6-time Superbowl champ calls it a day at 8:30 at night. Even after games, he's not out celebrating; he's doing everything to wind down to prepare his sleep ritual.
Brady says, "Proper sleep has got me where I am today as an athlete and is something I continue to do every day."
Kids and Parents. I know it's difficult to get the right amount of sleep. And not just the right amount of sleep, but performing a sleep ritual to get the most out of your sleep (completing all of your REM cycles).
But, sleep is one of those things that, if you want to perform at your highest levels, has to become cool. It has to be something you unapologetically commit too, and as you perform better, hopefully your friends and teammates will follow.
All of the greatest athletes you know are taking this even more seriously than their training.
Athletes like Brady and James understand that they are sacrificing certain things in their life by going to bed early and making their sleep top priority. Though they are married with kids, they still sacrifice many social or even money-making events that cut into this time.
It's cooler for them to play for a long time at a high level than it is to do anything else.
You, as an athlete, should take this seriously as well.
Want to read more on this? ESPN came out with a great article called, "It's the Dirty Little Secret That Everyone Knows About," on the sleep epidemic in the NBA.