© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Staley has trouble sleeping for games. It wasn’t always this way, but this season, Staley said, he’s started to get anxious. His sleep patterns are now interspersed with early-morning jolts. It’s not any sort of chronic insomnia, just game-related.
“As I’ve started to get older, I can’t sleep very well,” Staley said. “And I’m noticing that the whole entire season, I just get anxious for games now.”
That was maybe more pointed than usual on Friday night before Staley’s first playoff game since the 2014 NFC Championship game, and the first 49ers playoff game in the history of Levi’s Stadium.
Staley said he went to bed at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and slept for about three hours.
“I woke up at 1 a.m. and woke up at like, ready, ready to wake up,” Staley said. “I felt like I slept like eight hours I was like, ‘It’s 1 in the morning?’ And I was up and I couldn’t go back to bed until like 1:30am and then I woke up at 3 a.m. ‘3 a.m.? Fuck.’ Then finally I woke up at like 6 a.m. and I’m like I’m not going to go back to bed.”
On Saturday, Staley wasn’t alone. Teammate Mike McGlinchey was having trouble sleeping too. It spurred an early departure for Levi’s Stadium, with the two tackles and Jimmy Garoppolo all arriving well before they normally would (at least it was abnormal for Staley and McGlinchey, Garoppolo may well be used to getting to the stadium at crack-of-dawn type hours).
It’s not something he plans on doing again.
“[McGlinchey] does kind of the same thing, he woke up early, so him, Jimmy and myself actually drove over way early,” Staley said. “We got here like four-and-a-half hours before kickoff, which is the earliest I’ve ever been here and we got here, and I did my normal routine and then I realized how much time I had left and I was like, ‘Why did I get here so early?’ So I think I sat down, had a coffee. I was like, ‘What do I do?’ I don’t think I’ll do it again.”
Staley admitted he’ll sleep a bit better on Saturday night, having won his first playoff game in six years in the style of every lineman’s “dream,” by running the ball 47 times for 185 yards.
“Oh, I’m going to sleep so good tonight,” Staley said.