The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins are the first teams to play in London this season.
In preparation for the trip, the Jets consulted a sleep specialist to help players adjust to the five-hour time difference between New York and London, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
The Jets don’t leave until Thursday evening, and will arrive in London on Friday when they will have a brief practice.
With just two days to adjust before a 9:30 A.M. ET game on Sunday, the Jets wanted to make sure their team was rested the best they can.
Among the tips the specialist told player:
- Getting extra sleep days in advance of the trip
- Trying to get nine hours of sleep while in London
- Cutting down on caffeine
- Avoiding bright lights before going to sleep
Jets coach Todd Bowles reportedly talked to Rams coach Jeff Fisher about making the trip (the Rams played a game in London last season). Bowles said:
“It’s not like going to an away game, because the time change is such a difference for you. You have to prepare for these things a lot in the spring. No matter how you prepare for them, the sleeping and the sleep you get and the time you play is going to be a little different. I don’t think anybody is going to adjust full time. You get as much knowledge as you can. You get all the practice time in that you can to make sure they know what they’re doing and you move on.”
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall added, “It’s a five time-zone difference, so you have to do a great job of getting your body accustomed to that time zone.”
Other players seemed to downplay the significance. Linebacker Erin Henderson said players will be ready, adding, “It’s weird the way a professional athlete’s body works. It knows when it’s time to go.”
With the NFL still working out the logistics of adding a team in London, it’s possible the practice of talking to sleep specialists could become commonplace.
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