If Andre Iguodala hadn't gotten his sleep game in check, he might not have won MVP in the NBA Finals.
Iguodala, NBA All-Star, Olympian and guard for the Golden State Warriors, admitted during a Monday night talk at Stanford University with Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, that he often didn't get to bed until 4 a.m. in college, and really just took "long naps" rather than getting a full-night's rest.
"There was a direct correlation between sleeping a certain number of hours and performing well on the basketball court," Iguodala said.
Some of that poor sleep behavior continued when Iguodala landed in the NBA. But when he arrived at the Warriors in 2013, the team's health director connected him with a sleep therapist. Iguodala made some changes: He removed his TV and phone from his bedroom, started doing breathing exercises and stretches before going to bed, and would read before attempting to go to sleep.
"When you put yourself in a state of OK, I'm going to bed, I'm going to get enough sleep, it's like preparing to go to work," Iguodala said.
He said fans often think he just wakes up with the impressive physique he has, but that's not true.
"There's a lot of work you have to put in to look a certain way," Iguodala said. "I didn't wake up like this, I put a lot of hours in the gym, I take care of myself, I eat right. My health comes first: I know if my body's healthy then it'll perform to a high standard and sleep is a huge part of that."
Huffington pointed out that Iguodala's motto "Sleep good, feel good, play good," can apply to non-NBA stars too.