The MLB clubs are tapping into new technology to take their rest and recovery games to the next level.
With a 162-game season and constant travel, getting proper rest in Major League Baseball is a task that is both difficult and critically important. It’s why the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners announced a partnership with Kyro Inc. and its subsidiary, ChiliSleep, on Tuesday to improve the way their players rest and recover.
ChiliSleep gave both clubs a chance to use its OOLER sleep system, a temperature-regulating device used under a mattress pad that decreases body temperature to trigger deeper, more restorative sleep for athletes at home and on the road.
The Reds and Mariners started using the OOLER earlier this season and saw immediate results.
“From a high-level team perspective, including the cost from injuries and lost days, the OOLER is literally the coolest thing our team has ever used. It’s limiting the wear-and-tear and the guys just feel a whole lot better,” said Charles Leddon, the Reds’ director of sports science.
“This unique combination of effective product and timely sleep coaching support helps us connect with our players and provide what they need for optimal preparation and recovery.”
A 2017 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that 24 of 30 MLB teams’ players displayed worse strike zone judgment in September than in April. Improper rest and fatigue are believed to be two critical factors in this decrease in efficiency.
“Almost all cognitive mistakes that happen on the field are tied to fatigue, plain and simple,” said Tara Youngblood, ChiliSleep’s co-founder and CEO. “The exhaustion just isn’t there in April. Sleep deficit develops over the course of the season. We’re humbled to play a role in the success of America’s national pastime.”
MLB teams are always on the hunt for any way to gain an edge on the opposition throughout the grueling 162-game campaign and the playoffs that follow. With that in mind, sleep science could be baseball’s next competitive frontier.
“Players today want every opportunity to improve their performance. The science clearly points to the benefits of quality sleep especially when it comes to reaction time, cognitive function, recovery, and injury prevention,” said Jerry DiPoto, the Mariners’ executive Vice President and general manager. “Providing our team with access to the ChiliSleep products both at home and on the road, along with customized sleep coaching, will give our players an edge when it comes to maximizing their physical and mental training.”