Cristiano Ronaldo's sleep coach reveals the best way to get a good night's sleep 5 years ago

Cristiano Ronaldo's sleep coach reveals the best way to get a good night's sleep

This man knows...

There are very few things more frustrating than lying in bed and being unable to nod off to sleep, despite the fact you've spent most of your day fantasising about the moment you crawl between the sheets.


Nick Littlehales is a sleep coach who's worked with some of the biggest athletes and sporting teams in the world including Cristiano Ronaldo, Team SKY and various NBA and NFL teams. He's helped some of the world's biggest sporting stars improve the quality of their sleep.

Littlehales is against the standard train of thought that people need to get eight hours continuous sleep and instead is more in favour of five sleep cycles, each lasting 90 minutes.

He claims that eight hours of continuous isn't suited to many people, it creates unnatural rhythms and leaves office workers at their most tired between 1pm and 3pm during the day.

Speaking with The Independent, he revealed some of the advice he gives to clients.


As we spoke about above, he prefers people to sleep in five cycles of 90 minutes, but obviously this is not practical for many people in the working world. But it's ideal for athletes who can prime themselves to be at an optimum level of alertness if they're playing a game at 3pm on Saturday.

To get to sleep in the first place, Littlehales advises putting all electrical devices down 90 minutes before you plan to go to bed. He advises his clients to sleep in the foetal position in fresh sheets.

“All you need is 10 centimetres of foam [for a bed],” he said. “Why, when you go camping and start sleeping on a thinner mattress do you wake up feeling fantastic? I’ve been working with Team Sky for a number of years and during every Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a Espana, we go ahead to the hotels making sure the cyclists sleep on exactly the same mattress every night.”

Speaking with the Guardian last year, he also lauded the use of black-out curtains, temperature control and clean air in everyone's room, combined with a small dawn light simulator that emits gradual light to replicate the natural circadian process of sunrise.