At 31, Michael Phelps has been to five Olympic games. He won 23 gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals. His total of 28 makes Phelps the most decorated Olympian in history.
At 6 feet 4 inches tall, Phelps has a physique that is naturally predisposed to race through water, but he still had to learn how to optimize his body. For one, he slept — a lot. Early on in his career, Phelps learned that to be able to swim seven days a week, covering between 70,000 and 100,000 yards each week, he had to get a lot of shut-eye.
"I really can't say it enough. I don't think people really pay enough attention to how important sleep is," says Phelps, speaking to CNBC from the New York City showroom of direct-to-consumer mattress brand Leesa. The Olympian has recently entered into a four-year brand partnership with the company.
When he was training, Phelps slept eight hours a night and took a two- to three-hour nap each afternoon.