Having discovered that sleeping patterns impact on performance levels, researchers at the University of Birmingham have now revealed that top athletes perform best when their passage from wakefulness to sleep includes chapters read from Harry Potter, with all the voices ‘done by a grown up’.
By contrast a monotone rendition of ‘The Gruffalo’ without even stopping to look at the pictures can seriously compromise sporting prowess, the researchers revealed; particularly if nobody checks to see if there are monsters under the bed afterwards.
Many of the UK’s Olympic hopefuls have now been fast-tracked to a bedtime program of Roald Dahl, sleepy pants and leaving the hall light on. One sport scientist offered a word of warning: ‘The primary reason that Man Utd underperformed last season was because Wayne Rooney kept coming down the stairs asking for a glass of water’.
For many it is a revelation that staying up all night on the PlayStation might be detrimental to your energy levels the next day, but equally some bedtime stories have been seen to have a negative impact. Renditions of ‘The Witches’ have led to a spate of bed-wetting among Premiership footballers, while everyone now regrets the reading of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to Ched Evans.
One researcher explained: ‘Top athletes need to be pampered. Tucked up in bed. Kissed on the head. And they can’t be expected to read all those big words themselves. Besides, performance enhancing drugs will not pass through your system without a really good night’s sleep.’