World Championship 2019: Graeme Dott says sleep problems ruining career

Graeme Dott, the world champion in 2006, suffered a first round exit at the Crucible
Graeme Dott, the world champion in 2006, suffered a first-round exit at the Crucible
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Graeme Dott says "serious sleeping problems" are "ruining my career" following his agonising World Championship exit.

Dott, 41, staged a thrilling comeback from 8-1 down to set up a final-frame decider with Stuart Bingham.

However, the Scot lost 10-9, saying he was "gutted" but "proud" of the way he fought at the Crucible.

"It doesn't matter how long I sleep, I don't get any benefit from it, so I'm continuously tired," said Dott.

"It's getting worse. I'm struggling to even nap. I'm lucky if I get two hours.

"I'm having bad night after night. I don't go into a deep sleep. You might sleep for eight hours and maybe 45 minutes of that is deep sleep, that's recharging, but I never get that. Any time that my brain is close to deep sleep, I'll wake up. I wake up 16-20 times through the night.

"The standard we need to play at, the concentration, it's hard and it's doubly hard for me.

"Why my form can go from playing really well one day to really bad the next is obvious. I've lost lots of matches because of it but I don't say it because I don't see the point.

"I've been to a sleep hospital and I'm waiting on data coming back. You can't put into words how hard and how bad it is."

'I'm never going to quit'

Dott, world champion in 2006 and twice a beaten finalist, came through qualifying for his Crucible place for a fifth year running.

Currently ranked 21, he is determined to keep going despite his battle with fatigue.

"I'm never going to quit," he said. "I'll play through it. That's what I've been doing for the past seven or eight years.

"I played well and I played well in qualifiers - you want to finish the season here, not at the qualifiers. And when you get here, you want to try and enjoy it.

"I lost last year to Ali Carter and I didn't enjoy it. I played rubbish. I enjoyed it tonight because I started to hit the ball the way I was in the qualifiers."