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Lions donning shades to trick bodies into better sleep schedule

The Detroit Lions have done a lot of things to try and help adapt to being in London for a game for the second straight year.

They brought over their chef. They hired a sleep specialist to make suggestions on when and how to sleep. And for portions of the day, the Lions have been instructed to cover their eyes.

“You may see some guys with sunglasses on early in the morning,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters in England on Wednesday. “They are supposed to wear sunglasses until a certain time for the next couple of days. I have mine in my pocket, I would have them on right now, but you guys might think that I have them on for another reason, so I had to take them off.”

This was one of the suggestions made by the sleep specialist the Lions employ. Her other suggestions included eating at the same times and doing their best to sleep on the plane. Sleep adjustment, Lions players said, was one of the most difficult transitions during the trip over last season, and some players regretted not sleeping on the plane from the United States to Europe.

This year, it was part of the team’s protocol. The sunglasses, though, appear to be a change.

“Adapt,” Caldwell said. “Your body is telling you when we get up and running that it’s four-something in the morning. That’s what it’s telling you.

“So what you’re trying to do is trick your body into a little different norm.”