Why the world’s most expensive soccer player would do well to get some sleep

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At the age of 26 years old, Neymar is Brazil’s most loved player of the beautiful game. He is also the world’s most expensive soccer player (he earned 255 million dollars last year…gulp).

His popularity is largely due to his skill in the final third of the field that sees him claiming victory for his team. He was given a rough ride when his Brazilian team drew 1-1 to Switzerland in the first round of the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2018.

Neymar was victim to 10 fouls (the most fouls committed against one player at a FIFA match in 20 years) that have resulted in what appears to be an ankle injury.

His coach, Tite, plans to start with Neymar in his team’s next big match against Serbia tonight.

Neymar would do well to schedule more sleep than his usual (10pm – 6:30am) into his daily rehabilitation plan. Here’s why:

  1. Sleep is the only time that the body repairs itself. In deep sleep, growth hormone is released which helps to repair bone, muscle and soft tissues.
  1. Heavy training sessions and sports performances require 10 hours of sleep per night to ensure complete recovery. Neymar played 90 minutes in the match against Switzerland so will need to prioritise sleep.
  1. When athletes get 10 hours of sleep they store more glucose in their muscles resulting in better reaction and sprint times. Neymar needs speed to score the goals his team needs.
  1. Sleep duration after training is also linked to improved muscle strength scores. If Neymar wants his shots to have speed and accuracy, sleep will be his secret weapon.
  1. The extra hours of sleep will also assist his mental agility, mood and alertness- this will help him make better decisions on the field.

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