Bed manufacturer Sealy is to sponsor weightlifting champion Zoe Smith as she trains to qualify for the XXXI Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

Zoe will be the main star of Sealy's World of Sport campaign, promoting the intrinsic link between sleep and sporting success.

Having competed in weightlifting for the past eight years and winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Zoe holds the British record for clean and jerk and is currently training to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Zoe says: “This year is going to be one of the biggest of my career so far. I’m completely focused on qualifying to compete for my country at the Games and I’m working hard to make sure I’m at peak condition, both mentally and physically. Part of this comes down to my sleep, as well as training and nutrition, as these are the three most important things when it comes to improving performance. That’s why I’m so excited about this partnership and sleeping in my new bed as we approach Rio.

“I spend the majority of my time in the gym and sleep is absolutely vital as this is when the body naturally restores and repairs itself. I notice the difference between a good and bad night’s sleep as when I’ve slept badly, I don’t feel totally recovered in the gym the next morning and it’s very hard to concentrate. Weightlifting is a very technical sport so if your mental game is a little off, so is your technique which never makes for a successful training session.

“As you’d expect of someone who lifts heavy things over their head as a job, I’ve suffered from a few back injuries throughout my career. Although I’m healed up now, I still take good care of my spine. Sleeping on a bad mattress is one the things which can cause it to flare up, leaving me feeling stiff and sore for days. Getting sound, comfortable sleep is important for injury. During the day, athletes are surrounded by an entire team of support staff to make sure every last thing we do is going to aid our performance, but come night time, it’s not uncommon for subpar sleep to set back the whole process. Sleeping on my new bed means my body has also got support from experts on a night time too – I can’t wait to experience the results.”

Neil Robinson, Sealy UK sales and marketing director, says: “We’re delighted to be working with Zoe as she trains to qualify for the Olympics this year. We’ve been following Zoe’s career for the last few years and her commitment to sleep as one of the main components of her training programme makes her the perfect star for our World of Sport campaign.

“Here at Sealy, we understand the vital role sleep plays when it comes to sporting success – that’s what the World of Sport campaign is all about. We’re dedicated to working with some of the country’s leading athletes to ensure they enjoy the deep sleep they need to be at the top of their game. We can’t wait to support Zoe’s preparations and look forward to witnessing her success this year.”

As part of the partnership, Sealy gifted Zoe a Hybrid Fusion bed to help her sleep.