Following 106 appearances for Ulster and winning 35 caps for Ireland, retired rugby union player Stephen Ferris, 29, recognises the importance of quality sleep for injury recovery. Mammoth caught up with Stephen to find out more.
Hi Stephen, can you tell us about your rugby career?
After leaving the Ulster Rugby Academy, I played club Rugby at Dungannon, before making the Ulster team in 2005. It all fell into place for me and before I knew it I was winning my first cap. If I hadn’t become a rugby player, I have no idea what job I would have done.
If I had to describe my career in three words it would have to be – memories, enjoyment and injury.
What would class as your proudest moment – either in sport or outside of it?
It’s been a huge honour to represent both my country and province. Above all, my proudest moment in rugby would have to be representing the British and Irish Lions in South Africa in 2009.
Mammoth mattresses are known for their health benefits, particularly for people recovering from injury or taking preventative steps to maintain condition. Why has this been important to you?
Rugby is a tough, contact sport; you put your body under a lot of pressure and constant collisions. A typical fitness regime would involved several heavy weights sessions a week and then time spent on the pitch both in training and on game day.
I’ve suffered too many injuries to list over the years, but the worst would have to be dislocated joints. I’ve retired now but I still suffer from back, knee and ankle problems, which is why I decided to look for a mattress that was comfortable enough to reduce pain and discomfort at night.
Now that you have retired, what are you looking forward to over the next 12 months?
I’ll be keeping a close eye on Ulster’s season, of course. Hopefully they can win some silverware. Away from rugby I’m planning on playing lots of golf and getting my handicap down.
Ideally, how many hours of sleep do you aim for a night? Do you usually reach your target?
7 good hours sleep is about right for me. If I fail to get that I tend to get a bit grumpy and generally feel like I have less energy.
What kind of a sleeper are you? Perhaps a light and restless sleeper, or do you sleep like a log, as the saying goes?
Depends if I have something on my mind. Usually I am a light sleeper, which isn’t great when you tour a lot as part of your job. I always rely on a good pillow and earplugs to get me through the upheaval.
I also prefer the sleep environment to be cool, which is another reason I like my Mammoth.
If you could have a (purely platonic) late night chat with anyone, dead or alive, who’d be worth losing sleep over – and why?
Eric Cantona. He’s a Manchester United legend on and off the pitch. I’m sure he’d have a few good stories to tell.
Stephen Ferris bought his Mammoth Performance mattress from Dreams Boucher Road in Belfast.