Infographic Of The Day: Why Pro Athletes Sleep 12 Hours A Day

It's not just because they're rich and lazy (but it's also that, too).

If you thought your lazy, sullen teenager slept a lot, they've got nothing on your typical pro athlete, who routinely gets between 10-12 hours a night. Compare that to the average of 6.44 hours, and you've got to wonder why guys like Steve Nash or Roger Federer aren't endorsing a high-performance line of blankies instead of shoes.

But it's not simply because they're lazy, rich, and bored (though that probably contributes as well). Rather, it's that to perform at your physical peak, you basically have to sleep constantly -- after workouts, before games, before felonies, after felonies, and before hitting the clubs. That's all laid out in this cutesy but informative infographic by Ffunction and Zeo, a company that makes a high-tech personal sleep coach.

The first half is dedicated to all the immediate physical downsides of not sleeping enough -- and they're pretty surprising, including decreased reaction times, lower metabolism, decreased strength, and the sense that you're exerting yourself much harder than you actually are:

Sleep-Infographic

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And here's a breakdown of how much pro athletes usually sleep, and their own sleep routines:

Sleep-Infographic

[Click to see full-size]

Now, you might be thinking: The evidence really doesn't say that getting 16 hours of sleep is going to improve your performance; rather, it says that if you don't sleep enough your performance goes down, while catnaps can put you at peak performance. So maybe pro athletes really do sleep so much because they're rich, lazy, and bored?

For more excellent work by Ffunction, click here.

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