Thursday, November 06, 2008

Biomonitor as a Secret Weapon

The Vancouver Canucks have never owned Stanley Cup rings. But they're wearing biorhythm bracelets, which the National Hockey League team hopes might help get players the jewelry they really want.

Canuck players have been issued black bracelets to monitor their circadian rhythms, which are hard to dance to but set everyone's biological clock.

Circadian rhythms are regular mental and physical changes, driven by light and darkness and other factors, that occur over a 24-hour period. Canuck players are wearing the rhythm monitors -- "sleep bands" -- during their six-game, 11-night road trip, removing them only for games and practices. Or, for Daniel and Henrik Sedin on Tuesday, to go swimming.

The Sleep Performance Sleep Bracelet, a sleep-monitoring device that the Vancouver Canucks are wearing.

The information will be downloaded next week when the trip ends, and each players' rest and energy patterns evaluated.

The innovative program, being overseen by the Vancouver firm Global Fatigue Management Inc., is part of new Canuck general manager Mike Gillis's strategy to use new technology to make his team better.

"It's about managing fatigue levels, seeing what kind of sleep guys are getting during travel," Gillis said before the Canucks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime Thursday night.

"It will allow Global Fatigue to sit down with players and say: 'You average X-number of hours sleep, and here is when you were most fatigued.'

"They will help each guy develop [a sleep schedule] that suits them.

"It's educating players about fatigue and why some days they feel more tired than other days."


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