• If sleep is critical to performance and melatonin aids sleep, should it be considered at PED and banned?

    Miami Heat centre Hassan Whiteside admits to using melatonin in the quest for restorative sleep, an elusive entity in the life of NBA players.

    Whiteside described the fixture his Heat team had in the regular season last year.

    He spoke of a section of the Heat’s schedule last season, where the team had three games in four nights late in the month of February. After hosting Golden State, they had to fly to Houston for a game with the Rockets. Whiteside calculated that the best possible scenario would see him and his teammates climbing into bed at 3 AM before playing later the following evening.

    Whiteside told ESPN, that sleep “Could be the difference between you having a career game or playing terrible.”

    When seeing the figures on the pay slips of NBA players and other professional athletes, it is often easy to overlook some of the things those of us who lead the common life take for granted, such as predictable schedules that facilitate eating and sleeping.

    Whiteside summed it up, saying, “It’s just so hard to get the sleep that you need.”

    His attempts at adaptation to the brutal itineraries that confront an NBA club over the course of an 82-game regular season, things doubtless tried, with varying degrees of success by others, point out the struggles of travel.

    He sleeps on the team flights and hopes that the bed he is assigned at the hotel is suitable, hard to imagine for someone who towers 2.13-metres above the ground.

    Many of the NBA players seem to prefer clubs located in the big cities on either coast of the U.S.

    Whiteside had that in Miami, but he has since moved to the Portland Trail Blazers, on the opposite coast, so one reality of his life is that he can jump across three time zones to play a team based in the east.

    Of the current NBA schedule, Whiteside, when asked if it possible to achieve consistentquality sleep, he simply said, “Nah. It’s impossible. It’s impossible.”

    Repeating oneself is often a symptom of sleep deprivation.