New Program Provides MLB Players With Sleep Solutions to Minimize Travel Fatigue, Boost Cognitive Function, and Improve On-Field Performance
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kryo, Inc., the parent company of sleep technology brand ChiliSleep, today announced an innovative sports science collaboration with both the Cincinnati Reds and the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball teams. This season, players have the opportunity to use the OOLER sleep system, which is ChiliSleep’s advanced, temperature-regulated sleep tech that decreases body temperature to trigger deep sleep for players at home and on the road.
While 2020 had an abbreviated 60-game MLB season, 2021 was a return to normal with a full 162-game schedule. Both the Reds and Mariners front offices were looking to implement a new tool to help players train and perform at their best.
Being in the professional sports world, each team knew that deep sleep has restorative powers, including strengthened immune systems. But the question was how they could boost sleep quality across the board for all players?
So, based on personal knowledge, reviews, and scientific data, the teams came to realize that incorporating the OOLER was the new tool they needed to help players overcome travel fatigue, boost cognitive function, and aid their performance on the field. Additionally, as injuries are on the rise this season, each team was eager to place an even greater importance on sleep to aid soft tissue repair and shorten recovery time.
“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. 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,” said Charles Leddon, PhD, and director of sports science at the Reds.
“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. 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,” said Jerry Dipoto, Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager, Baseball Operations.
Jeff Hoffman, starting pitcher for the Reds, knows firsthand how an exhausting travel schedule and sleep deprivation affects performance. Jeff began using the OOLER system this past offseason.
“The OOLER is helpful for all kinds of athletes. For baseball players specifically, we play 162 games all season, in the middle of the summer, so after being in the heat all day, repetitively, your night of sleep becomes incredibly important! Sleep is probably THE most important thing because you can’t get in the weight room and get the most out of your workout unless you get a good night’s sleep. For me, sleep definitely starts the cycle of our day, and for us to get the most out of our day, we have to get a good night,” said Hoffman.
Kate Weiss, PhD, the Mariners sports science coordinator, has spearheaded cutting-edge initiatives to minimize the negative effects of player fatigue. In addition to improving plate discipline, she said the collaboration with ChiliSleep adds to player longevity because better sleep naturally improves long-term health.
“I personally use and believe in the ChiliSleep products and understand the profound and effective role temperature intervention can play on sleep quality. When you consider geographic realities for our players here in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is the team that travels the most of all MLB teams, and our own division features two teams in Texas, involving both 2-hour time zone changes and oppressive heat,” said Weiss.
These new solutions follow an earlier study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that showed players' strike-zone judgment got worse over the course of an MLB season. In fact, the study showed the rates were worse in September than in April for 24 out of 30 teams.
“Almost all cognitive mistakes that happen on the field are tied to fatigue, plain and simple. 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. Baseball reflects many aspects of American life, from culture to economics and technological advances, including optimized sleep,” said ChiliSleep CEO and Co-Founder Tara Youngblood.