Jets bring in sleep specialists

Updated: September 21, 2012, 8:33 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Sweet dreams, Jets.

Hoping that catching a few extra Z's translates into better performance on the field, the New York Jets recently brought in sleep specialists to help the players get more rest.

Ryan We've had sleep people come in, talking about how important sleep is, how important it is to get eight hours of it. We bring in these specialists for a reason. ... If we can gain a little advantage, then we're going to look for it.

-- Jets coach Rex Ryan

Coach Rex Ryan also pushed back the team's schedule by about 90 minutes this week, giving the players a chance to be more energized and attentive during meetings and practice.

"We've had sleep people come in, talking about how important sleep is, how important it is to get eight hours of it," Ryan said Friday. "We bring in these specialists for a reason. I just think it's wise to do that, listening to people with a lot more knowledge than myself about it.

"If we can gain a little advantage, then we're going to look for it."

The players received handouts earlier in the week about how sleep helps performance. Meetings and practices were shortened a bit, and the change in the schedule was welcomed by the players.

"It was awesome," defensive lineman Mike DeVito said. "You still get the same amount of work in, but you get to sleep in a little bit more and get off your feet a little more. It was a smart thing, a really smart thing to do. Practice was higher tempo this week and guys are ready to go."

The Jets (1-1) are playing the Dolphins (1-1) at Miami with the temperature expected to be near 90 degrees Sunday. Along with getting plenty of rest, the team has stressed the importance of staying well hydrated -- a process that started early in the week with drinking plenty of fluids.

"That's something we'll be ready for," Ryan said. "We've played down there before and we know what to expect. I think the last time we played there, it was like 90 degrees out in December or January, whenever it was. We know it's going to be hot, but we think we've done a good job hydrating ourselves and getting rest."

Ryan said the Jets will follow the revised practice and meetings schedule in future weeks.

"They're trying to help us in any way they can so we can perform at a high level," right tackle Austin Howard said. "It's absolutely a smart move."

Notes

DL Muhammad Wilkerson was excused from practice for personal reasons, but Ryan said he would return to the team Saturday and play against the Dolphins. ... Backup QB Tim Tebow said he has been teased by several teammates for his recent photo spread for an article in Vogue magazine, which features a shot of him shirtless while rolling a huge tire. "It was fun to do it with Annie Leibovitz, one of the best photographers of our era," Tebow said, adding that he hadn't yet seen all the photos. "That was pretty fun to be able to work with her."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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