Skip to main content

ATLANTA — One in four Americans develop insomnia each year. None in four NFL players have trouble sleeping before the Super Bowl. The MMQB polled Rams and Patriots players who have previously played in the Super Bowl to find out how they get a good night’s sleep before the biggest game of the year. Apparently, it’s not hard.

“I looked at my phone, looked at the time I had to be up for breakfast, turned the alarm on and I went to sleep,” says C.J. Anderson, the Rams running back who was a Super Bowl 50 champion as a member of the Broncos.

Ex-Broncos teammate Aqib Talib agreed. “I slept great,” he says. “It's not rocket science to sleep. Just laid down, turn the TV off and think about ZZZs.”

“I don’t really have trouble sleeping before the game,” Patriots center David Andrews says. “I’ve been playing a long time, played in a lot of big games.”

Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley will hit the hay around 11 p.m. and wake up at 4:45 a.m., his usual wake up time, even though the game isn’t until 6:40 p.m. “I don't think it's much different than any other day,” says Caley. “It's the culmination of seven months, since last offseason’s program when it all started, so you realize there is a finality to this season. I'll probably sit back and think about it before I go to bed, maybe a little bit more than I normally would on any given week.”

Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski tries to make his hotel room as similar to home as possible, so this week, that meant heading to CVS to buy a humidifier. “Being in the hotel for a week is tough,” Gostkowski says. “But honestly, the closer you get to the game the more comfortable you feel. I’ll get to see my family that day, I will watch a movie and then go to bed.”

Rams cornerback Sam Shields admits he tossed and turned the night before Super Bowl XLV as a Packer, but he blames it on his rookie nerves. “I didn't know what to expect, what was going on,” he says. “I had stomach aches, using the bathroom, but I didn’t have to use it, things like that. It felt like Christmas too, when Christmas is the next day you can’t sleep.”

Now in his second Super Bowl go-round, Shields doesn’t anticipate any problems Saturday night. If you experience pre-game insomnia, just follow the lead of these NFL players. It’s just another game.

Not getting this newsletter in your inbox yet? Sign up for The MMQB’s Morning Huddle.


NOW ON THE MMQB: Conor Orr argues that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell must find a better way to engage with media and fans. ... What time is the Super Bowl? We had a physicist explain. ... Jonathan Jones on how coaches decide to throw the challenge flag on Super Bowl Sunday. ... Michael Rosenberg on Patriots’ Matthew Slater and his father, Rams legend Jackie Slater

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Robert Klemko on how the Patriots are talking about Josh Gordon. ... Part Two of our series on the familiar pattern of a Patriots Super Bowl season. ... Andy Benoit on what the Rams must do to beat the Patriots.


1. Sean Payton binged on Netflix and ice cream after the NFC title game loss.

2. Juju Smith-Schuster on the Steelers drama: “Let’s stop all the B.S.”

3. DeSean Jackson would like to play for the Rams.


The Pittsburgh TV station employee who ran a graphic describing Tom Brady as a “known cheater” is no longer employed by the station... 

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at