In 2009, Dr. Christopher Winter, the Medical Director of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, authored a study that looked at how Major League Baseball (MLB) teams performed in different time zones. He and his researchers found that for each time zone a team had to cross to get to a game, their chances of winning fell significantly. Teams crossing three time zones to reach an opponent had just a 40 percent chance of winning.
Winter had discovered an emerging fact about sleep and athletic performance: if you aren’t well-rested, your performance on the field takes a significant blow.
Mike Napoli, Sleep Apnea and the Red Sox
Just how much can a lack of sleep affect a professional baseball player? Rex Sox first baseman Mike Napoli’s life was clouded with constant drowsiness and fatigue due to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). He didn’t have a dream for over a decade because his breathing problems at night prevented him from falling deeply asleep. He was forced to take naps during batting practice before games. He was miserable and considering retirement.
Everything changed when he finally decided to get sleep apnea surgery: bimaxillary advancement surgery (also known as maxillomandiular advancement surgery). The surgery, which moved his upper and lower jaw forward to increase the size of his airway, has greatly improved the quality of his life. He and his teammates hope that it will also further improve his playing this season.
A Focus on Sleep for Pro Ball Players
According to a recent Sports Illustrated story by Matt McCarthy more and more MLB teams across the country are taking a closer look at the connection between restful sleep and success on the ball field. In fact, the Giants, Rays, Rockies, Pirates and Indians have all consulted sleep experts in recent years in order to get their players better shut-eye. Specifically, the teams have been looking into how the exhausting travel schedule can be managed with sleep in mind as well as how exactly player performance is affected by lack of sleep.
A recent study has also found that one out of three professional football players suffers from sleep apnea. It will be interesting to see if the National Football League will also begin to exam just how much this sleep disorder is taking away from their player’s potential – and if sleep apnea surgery could also benefit their lineman.
Sleep Apnea Surgical Solutions
At Surgical Sleep Solutions, we believe that everyone, professional athlete or not, deserves to be able to sleep soundly at night. Our team specializes in bimaxillary advancement surgery, which has a 95 percent success rate among our past patients. Surgical Sleep Solutions has developed a unique sleep apnea treatment model for delivery that eliminates the majority of negatives commonly associated with bimaxillary advancement surgery.
• Most patients resume normal activity in 7-10 days as opposed to 4-6 weeks.
• Procedure is outpatient and does not require a night spend in ICU or an extensive stay in the hospital.
• Most patients are on a liquid diet only, no wiring together patient jaws, for approximately a week. Sometimes just 3-5 days.
Please listen to a short patient testimonial 24 hours after surgery: