- A new book by football superstar Ronaldo’s sleep coach challenges the common wisdom…
- He reveals why expensive mattresses are pointless and which side is best to lie on in bed.
- Also – here’s another excellent reason why you should ignore this common sleep advice
Did you miss my email last Saturday?
It was all about getting a better night’s sleep…
But nothing to do with mattresses and meditation and not drinking or smoking or watching TV (the usual advice).
It was about training yourself to breathe properly.
Using one of these you can put an end to snoring, sleep apnea and hassle from the symptoms of allergies.
As I pointed out in my email, a lot of health problems stem from poor sleep – including an acceleration in memory decline and foggy thinking as you get older.
Last year scientists at the University of Arizona found that if you have insomnia for over six years you have a 58% increased risk of death from heart and lung conditions… plus a higher chance of diabetes, obesity, dementia and depression.
Bearing in mind how important this is, I was reading up on some further ways to get a better sleep.
That’s when I stumbled upon Nick Littlehales, Britain’s ‘top sleep expert’ and advisor to some of our best sporting stars, including Manchester United and Arsenal’s football players.
He agrees that “much of the talk about sleep is nonsense” and that it has little to do with forking out for a fancy mattress or religiously getting 8 hours sleep (or whatever it is the old guard health brigade tell you).
This is how Gary Pallister and Cristiano Ronaldo must sleep….
For a starter, he reckons that rather than buy one of those £1000+ “last you a lifetime” things you should append £200-£300 but buy a new mattress more regularly. He also says you should go for a basic thin pillow that you replace regularly, rather than an orthopaedic neck brace-style pillow that physiotherapists often recommend.
So, that’s good news really. There’s some much-needed money you can in your bank should you be panicking about your next bedding purchase|!
And if you want to make your bed more psychologically relaxing, then our sleep expert’s advice is… clean your sheets more regularly.
He also suggests this – a tip I’ve never come across before…
Apparently, the best way to sleep is by lying on your non-dominant side. In other words, if you’re right-handed then sleep on your left side.
Littlehales says that your brain stays on alert as you sleep, a little like a highly trained SAS solider, and it’s happier when your best arm – your FIGTHING ARM – is ready for action!
He also has a theory about ‘cycles’.
Are you getting enough sleep cycles?
It takes 90 minutes to go through a cycle of light sleep, deep sleep and then waking…enough to rest your mind and body properly. Littlehales reckons we should go through five cycles in a night to get the best sleep.
However, that ends up being pretty much the same as “get seven-and-a-half hours sleep”. Which is what almost everyone else recommends anyway…
Except for one thing…
Nick Littlehales doesn’t believe that you don’t have to get all cycles in one go. Littlehales says this about the 7-8 hour sleep theory:
“Nobody gets it and nobody achieves it.”
Instead, you can use power naps to top up your sleep quota.
If you’re a fan of an afternoon nap, this is great news.
It also backs up an email I wrote a while back which also challenged the “get 7-8 hour sleep every night” advice. You can read on the website here
My post asks, “what if you’re just not able to get a full night’s sleep for a myriad different reasons?”
The truth is, it might not matter if you can’t get one long night’s sleep, and there might be an alternative pattern that fits you better. Take a look and see what you think: Do you need 8 hours sleep a night?
Finally, if you’re interested in Nick Littlehales’ book you can pick it up at a bookshop or on Amazon. It’s called Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps… and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind.
It only came out on Thursday so I’ve not had time to read it yet, but I’ll be sure to get a copy and get back to you in the coming months with my thoughts.
The main thing to take away right now is – don’t stress about not getting the kind of sleep you believe you should… there is no “one size fits all” sleep solution.
Furthermore, you should embrace the nap!
And what’s not to like about that?
That’s it from me today. I’m off for a nice lie down. Health reasons of course. My boss will understand.
Until next time, stay healthy!