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Ravens looking at sleep patterns to optimize schedule

US Open Tennis

A tennis patron falls asleep in the stands during a rain delay at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


As we’ve seen with the Bengals joining the iPad revolution and the Giants using GPS in creative ways, NFL teams are finding new ways to use science and technology to help them get better on the field.

Add the Ravens to the list. Baltimore is spending some time this offseason looking at sleep studies performed by the U.S. military. The idea is to see if there are ways to tweak the weekly schedule so that players are performing at optimal levels. Garrett Downing of the team’s website writes that one possibility might be to move Tuesday’s day off to Monday in order to get players the most rest possible on the night after a game.

“We’re turning over every stone, looking at everything in our program, to find any way to get better ... It’s just about getting better, any little way we can,” coach John Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh’s far from the only guy who feels that way. We mentioned the Bengals and Giants up top and there will be more and more stories about teams looking in new places to gain advantages over the opposition.

The Ravens are also looking at the best way to handle West Coast trips. Figuring out the best way to handle cross-country travel has become something of a shared trait in the Harbaugh clan. Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers spent a week in Youngstown, Ohio last year to minimize the impact of back-to-back trips across the country. He’s planning on doing it again this season, although that specific suggestion won’t help his brother. The Ravens play in the Pacific time zone just once this season.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m. ET: As pointed out in comments and on Twitter, the Niners give their players Mondays off. What’s good for one brother could turn out to be good for the other as well.