Forget high-tech gym equipment. Sleep is the new way to gain a competitive edge in sports and the Boston Red Sox are using it to their advantage, according to the Boston Globe.

As this Globe article reports, the Red Sox have “sleep room” inside their clubhouse at Fenway Park that can fit four players at a time. The idea is that players or staff who want to recharge before a game can easily get the rest they need.

The Red Sox are not the first professional sports team to use sleep to boost performance — they join an ever-growing list of elite teams and athletes adopting sleep as a crucial aspect of their training. “Every little edge you can get on your competition, if it’s one game or even an extra out, it matters,” Brad Pearson, the Red Sox’s head athletic trainer, told the Globe. “We’re always looking for ways to get better. This is one way.”

Players are on board with the program. Infielder Hanley Ramirez told the Globe, “How many hours can I sleep without waking up, that is the big thing for me. It changes the way you play. It’s unbelievable. When you’re young, you don’t think about stuff like that.”

The Sox are even considering sending their pitchers to games a few days ahead of schedule rather than the current practice of giving them just a few hours head start to sleep before big games. That could be the difference between winning or losing crucial games. As we wrote about here, jet-lagged baseball players (specifically those traveling east) give away, on average, one home run per game.

Read more on the Boston Globe.

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