The New Moneyball? It's Major League Sleep

Some baseball teams are consulting sleep experts to help keep their players in top shape.

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With red-eye flights, games that go deep into the night, and long trips spent in hotels a reality of a typical season, Potenziano says he's often fighting an uphill battle. Sleep aids are common, as is caffeine to get players up for the next day's game. Counting spring training and the playoffs, the Giants played more than 220 games over the course of less than 10 months in 2010, and traveled more than 45,000 miles.

"They're going to have to use caffeine sometimes, but we're trying to get them to understand what's the best behaviors are to get sleep," he says.

Potenziano says he tells his players to turn off the TV, X-Box, and drink plenty of water—tips he says helps players get a better night's sleep.

"You're dealing with guys who love Playstation and X-Box, who are playing Modern Warfare until four in the morning and then sleeping til noon," he says. "Then they're chugging down the Starbucks—drinking a grande latte and saying they're ready to roll. They can use caffeine as crutches—you can't stop these creatures of habit."

Jason Koebler is a science and technology reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at jkoebler@usnews.com

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