James Talbot is a professional footballer playing with Bohemians FC. James has unique challenges and talents as his position is that of a goalkeeper. James started his football career with Home Farm. At the age of 15, he was signed by English club Sunderland. Between 2016 and 2018, he made a number of appearances for Sunderland’s Under-23 side and in the EFL Trophy. James received a call up from Mick McCarthy for the Republic of Ireland squad and on 25 October, the last day of the League of Ireland season, James Talbot was named Bohemian FC Player of the Year 2019.
Analysis & Data using
the Readiband Sleep monitor.
We analysed data on sleep and activity levels
over two distinctive periods. We first assessed
sleep patterns over the course of a week
under normal circumstances. After consulting
with Ava, the team in DKI helped her choose
a mattress suitable for her specific needs. Ava
then had her sleep analysed after receiving
her new mattress and we noted any significant
changes in her patterns.
James Talbot Selected
Premier 3000 Mattress
for mattress details
19th March – 27th March
Average Sleep Quantity: 6
Sleep Quality Rating: 4/10
Sleep Latency: 60min
After Receiving Mattress
01st April – 7th April
Average Sleep Quantity: 8
Sleep Quality Rating: 8.5/10
Sleep Latency: 10min
Did James Talbot Sleep Improved?
Sleep Duration: Over the space of a week, James’ sleep quality and duration improved. James’ average sleep went from 6 hours up to 8 hours once he received his new mattress. His sleep duration was improved by nearly 40%. James’ training schedule is very demanding, so sleep duration and quality will profoundly impact his physical and more importantly his cognitive abilities.
Wake Episodes: In the first graph, we can see that long wake episodes were an issue for James, but after receiving the new bed, the number of wake episodes dropped massively by over 50% which in turn made a huge difference to his overall sleep quality and ability to maintain a restful sleep. As waking during the light phase has a direct impact on reaction times, decision making and cognitive performance, any improvement here will result in big improvements on the pitch.
Sleep Latency can often leave people feeling frustrated. We can inadvertently pick up bad habits when we struggle to fall asleep, such as reaching for our phone. Before receiving the new mattress, it took James on average 1 hour to fall asleep. There was a massive improvement after receiving the mattress, his sleep latency time dropped by 50 minutes, as a result, James was falling asleep much more quickly and obtaining more quality repair time each night as a result.
Recommendations: The results produced in such a short amount of time highlight the benefits of investing in a good mattress, which essentially boosts comfort and support levels to the point where sleep, rest, and recovery durations are vastly improved. Implementing a wind-down strategy is critical in achieving faster sleep onset for James and maintaining healthy boundaries around technology.
We frequently undervalue the importance of proper support and comfort levels, which can tilt the scales in our favour and have a significant and favourable impact on sleep architecture. Sleep duration and quality seem to improve reaction time, accuracy, and endurance which can really benefit James in his football career.
How did you get into football?
Well, just from about 2 or 3 years of age, I was always just kicking a ball around. I went up to the local park and joined a team straight away. My mother brought me up to all the games and training and there was never anything else at my feet only a football.
What were the key preparations for you in getting ready for training and a matchday?
A game would be a very different preparation from a training session. For the day of the game, I would usually do some kind of light body workout and a core workout as well. I’d try to get these extra small sessions in, and I’ve been having smoothies on game day as well. In order to do this, I have to be well-rested, so that’s where looking after my sleep comes in.
Is there anything that might keep you up at night before a game like over-thinking?
If there are pressure games with the top teams, it might be on tv, it can add that bit more. You do think about the game more, how you’re
going to perform, put yourself into scenarios, and you can’t let that take over because it can be negative. But then, you remember to just go out and enjoy it, it’s just a game of football.
Competing at that level must have taken a physical toll on your body, how important is sleep for you?
I think sleep is massive, so important to get right. For me, I would always sleep a certain amount of time and then maybe take a nap during the day as well. So in that sense, I prioritize it and hopefully, I can get a full nights sleep without any breaks. I know I can be fatigued mentally and physically if I don’t get my sleep right.
In terms of health, what kind of strategies do you find to help keep you healthy, sharp and energized now?
This year I make sure that I have my nap/snooze and make sure I have the right foods for energy levels especially on days where I have games. I’d even take some supplements and look at any other areas to keep me in tip top shape.
Have you noticed a difference now since you upgraded your mattress?
Beforehand I never really thought too much of the sleep, in terms of the quality of it but as soon as I got the new mattress, the minute I get up in the morning, I feel so much more refreshed. I’m not rolling over and saying, “oh I’d love an extra half hour”, I’m getting up and feeling energised. I’m falling asleep a lot quicker with this mattress. I feel like I’m getting the same amount of sleep, but the quality difference is huge. I’m doing the same things I was doing 6 months ago but the difference is amazing. I wish I’d done this sooner to be honest.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes out there?
Put your head down and work hard. I know it’s a cliché but people who rely on just talent don’t make it in my experience. You have to work hard in all areas of life. You have to believe in yourself as well. You have to keep the enjoyment in your sport. Play like you’re a kid and enjoy it.