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Good Morning America: This doctor helps Olympians with their sleep. Here are his tips to sleep like a champion.

Jeffrey Durmer, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Nox Health and sleep and circadian performance physician for the USA Olympic Weightlifting team, spoke to Good Morning America about the importance of sleep for Olympic athletes (and the rest of us). Read his interview, including his top tips for gold medal-worthy sleep.

Jeffrey Durmer, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Nox Health and sleep and circadian performance physician for the USA Olympic Weightlifting team, spoke to Good Morning America about the importance of sleep for Olympic athletes (and the rest of us).

Dr. Jeffery Durmer (far left) at the USA Weightlifting Training Camp

Olympic teams often have coaches, trainers and physical therapists on their staff. But for the Tokyo Games, the U.S. Weightlifting team has added another role to help its athletes perform at the top of their game – a sleep performance director.

Dr. Jeffrey Durmer is Chief Medical Officer of Nox Health and a neuroscientist who specializes in sleep. Since 2013, he has been helping athletes in various sports as a sleep consultant to optimize their performance through sleep programs. This year, he is one of the first staff members on an Olympic team that solely specializes in sleep.

“All it is, is sleep doping,” Durmer told ABC News. This is done by “using natural physiology and science to improve the team’s abilities. I give them huge credit for thinking outside the box and finding new ways to implement an advantage which is completely legal.”

Durmer said the pressure of competition and jetlag can often throw off an athlete’s sleep schedule during the Olympic Games. He also said many athletes are so focused on training as hard as they possibly can that they forget to make sleep a priority.

“I think it has changed a lot of — the perception about sleep, where they all kind of looked at sleep, as, you know, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I can work out three times a day,” Durmer said. “What we found is that this concept of overtraining syndrome is really not about overtraining, it’s about under-recovery. So if you’re not recovering enough, your training itself could become a detriment.”

Durmer said the most important part of his job as a sleep performance director is educating the athletes about the benefits and necessity of sleep as a group. Then, he studies each athlete to determine what sleep patterns will give them the best competitive advantage.

“If you can make if you can actually start to build that into your training routine, build your sleep routine, that actually will support all kinds of resilience, mental resilience, physical resilience, immune resilience, when you go to another country … So you can actually perform at your highest level,” Durmer said.

Due to the pandemic, athletes are not able to stay in Tokyo for as long as they normally would to adjust to the time change prior to competition. To help with jetlag, the U.S. Weightlifting has been training in Hawaii prior to the games, which will make the time adjustment much easier once they are able to enter Tokyo for competition.

Olympians are not the only ones who perform at their peak with a healthy amount of sleep, every person can benefit from a healthy sleep schedule. Durmer shared his top tips for gold medal-worthy sleep:

Olympic teams often have coaches, trainers and physical therapists on their staff. But for the Tokyo Games, the U.S. Weightlifting team has added another role to help its athletes perform at the top of their game – a sleep performance director.

Dr. Jeffrey Durmer is Chief Medical Officer of Nox Health and a neuroscientist who specializes in sleep. Since 2013, he has been helping athletes in various sports as a sleep consultant to optimize their performance through sleep programs. This year, he is one of the first staff members on an Olympic team that solely specializes in sleep.

“All it is, is sleep doping,” Durmer told ABC News. This is done by “using natural physiology and science to improve the team’s abilities. I give them huge credit for thinking outside the box and finding new ways to implement an advantage which is completely legal.”

Durmer said the pressure of competition and jetlag can often throw off an athlete’s sleep schedule during the Olympic Games. He also said many athletes are so focused on training as hard as they possibly can that they forget to make sleep a priority.

“I think it has changed a lot of — the perception about sleep, where they all kind of looked at sleep, as, you know, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I can work out three times a day,” Durmer said. “What we found is that this concept of overtraining syndrome is really not about overtraining, it’s about under-recovery. So if you’re not recovering enough, your training itself could become a detriment.”

Durmer said the most important part of his job as a sleep performance director is educating the athletes about the benefits and necessity of sleep as a group. Then, he studies each athlete to determine what sleep patterns will give them the best competitive advantage.

“If you can make if you can actually start to build that into your training routine, build your sleep routine, that actually will support all kinds of resilience, mental resilience, physical resilience, immune resilience, when you go to another country … So you can actually perform at your highest level,” Durmer said.

Due to the pandemic, athletes are not able to stay in Tokyo for as long as they normally would to adjust to the time change prior to competition. To help with jetlag, the U.S. Weightlifting has been training in Hawaii prior to the games, which will make the time adjustment much easier once they are able to enter Tokyo for competition.

Olympians are not the only ones who perform at their peak with a healthy amount of sleep, every person can benefit from a healthy sleep schedule. Durmer shared his top tips for gold medal-worthy sleep:

Dr. Durmer was also featured on ABC News Online

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