Can a good night sleep spell the difference between winning a U.S. Olympic gold medal and a silver or bronze, or none at all?

Sleep expert Dr. Mark Rosekind, a former NASA scientist and president of Alertness Solutions, seems to think so. Rosekind and Hilton Hotels have teamed up to modify 160 resident athlete dorm rooms at the Colorado Springs U.S. Olympic Training Center to help increase the athletes' alertness and reaction time for peak performance.

“Sleep is so important and so basic that it could make the difference between winning the gold or the silver at the Olympic Games,” says Rosekind, who has worked with pilots and astronauts on combating fatigue. “The proper amount of sleep can boost an athlete's performance by as much as 30 percent.”

Based on recommendations from Dr. Rosekind, the Hilton Competitive Advantage Program will optimize the sleep environment for U.S. Olympic athletes by incorporating a number of critical elements, including enhanced bed size and bedding, a usable work area and an effective wake-up mechanism.

The remodel's key feature will be replacement of the facility's standard twin beds with a complete bedding system designed for the Hilton Family of Hotels, including a plush-top mattress to reduce tossing and turning and to improve circulation while sleeping.

Many of the new dorm elements will be replicated for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy to help keep the American athletes at their peak.

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