Bad News Keeping You Up at Night? MLB Player Ohtani Is Feeling Your Pain

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Nobody is above their worries keeping them up into the wee hours of the night — not even pro athletes and celebrities.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ star player Shohei Ohtani told the Associated Press that after he found out that his longtime interpreter had stolen $16 million from him, he struggled to sleep. (1) (2) “I think really as the incidents progressed and I was basically doing what I can to show that I’m fine, and as the incidents were progressing and the investigation was going on and I was starting to not be involved anymore, that’s when I was able to really focus on my sleep and being able to sleep better,” he said. 

“Initially I really didn’t have much sleep obviously with the things that were happening, but now I’ve been able to really have a pretty consistent routine, been able to sleep well, so I think those are leading to good results.”

Ohtani had previously told Kyodo News that he takes his sleep seriously, aiming to get 10 hours of sleep at night and taking a 2-hour nap prior to a game. (3) While traveling, Ohtani is known to bring his own mattress to ensure he continues to maintain his sleep — even while away from home, Sports Illustrated reports. (4) With the right resources, wouldn’t we all?

Ohtani’s struggle is a common one. Baylor College of Medicine shared that stress and worry impacts sleeps, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. (5) In turn, sleep loss can trigger the stress response in the body, disrupting sleep even more. So, that 3 a.m. perseverating on something you said the day before, or your job performance review in a week, has a cyclical effect on sleep and stress.

The American Psychological Association offers tips for handling stress and keeping it from impacting your sleep, including using meditation and relaxation techniques to help ensure your body relaxes for sleep. It’s also important to utilize physical activity to help minimize stress and improve sleep. Other reports indicate not to exercise too close to bedtime, however, as that can have the opposite effect. 

According to Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, neurons in the brain that help regulate sleep and body temperature can be activated by stress in “microarousals,” leading to interrupted sleep cycles and shortened sleep episodes. So, while you might think you are getting great sleep, that bad news might be keeping you from deeper, restorative sleep.

So, for those of us who didn’t have $16 million stolen, what keeps us up the most? Undiagnosed sleep disorders, stress and anxiety, caffeine and diet, and pesky old bluelight from too much scrolling top the list of culprits. Though everyone’s stressors are different, financial concerns are almost always near the top of worry lists keeping Americans up at night. (6) While it’s simple enough to say that savings account isn’t going to benefit from losing even more sleep, it’s surely easier said than done. So, try these tips instead if worrying is keeping you awake:

  • Look at how you are managing daytime stress — if not, it will follow you into your sleep. For example, unresolved trauma might make its way into nightmares or intrusive thoughts. Finding a helpful therapist or working with other mental health professionals
  • Seek help for potential sleep disorders, including true insomnia. 
  • Determine if physical discomfort, and maybe even an old mattress is keeping you up —  seasonal mattress sales provide budget friendly ways to upgrade your sleep
  • Improve your sleep hygiene, by instituting a calming bedtime routine, with lowered lights, a comfortable temperature, and no blue light. 

Maybe, less doom scrolling will mean more restful sleep anyway.


1. McCauley, Janie; “Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani hits longest home run at Oracle Park in nearly two years,” Associated Press;; May 15, 2024.

2. Axisa, Mike; “Shohei Ohtani’s sleep schedule is finally back on track after gambling scandal and the results prove it,” CBS Sports;; May 15, 2024.

3. Kyodo News; “Sound sleep helping Shohei Ohtani achieve his two-way baseball dreams,” Kyodo;; October 19, 2022.

4. Apstein, Stephanie; “Shohei Ohtani Strives to Be the Absolute Best … Even at Getting Some Shuteye,” Sports Illustrated;; March 15, 2024.

5. Dusang, Kaylee; “How stress can affect your sleep,” Baylor College of Medicine;; May 9, 2019.

6. AASM; “Financial and health-related worries keeping Americans up at night, survey shows,” American Academy of Sleep Medicine;; September 26, 2022.


Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist, content marketing writer, copywriter, and editor focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle. Away from the keyboard, Alex is also mom to her four sons under age 7, who keep things chaotic, fun, and interesting. For over a decade she has been helping publications and companies connect with readers and bring high-quality information and research to them in a relatable voice.  She has been published in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Glamour, Shape, Today's Parent, Reader's Digest, Parents, Women's Health, and Insider.

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