Episode 152: Nick Littlehales - All Things Sleep and Performance

This episodes guest is Nick Littlehales from sportsleepcoach.co.uk. 

Nick is regarded as the leading elite sports sleep coach in world sport.

A leading industry expert with over 30 years experience in the world of sleep, sleeping habits, and product design and over 15 years dedicated to elite athletes and professional sport.

A former professional golfer, International Sales & Marketing Director of the Slumberland Group and Chairman of the UK Sleep Council, Nick has conducted many practical and clinical research projects into the varied sleeping habits adopted by the modern day sleeper and athlete. His unique and passionate techniques, products and proven approach are endorsed by leading professionals in world sport and business.

Nick is also the author of Sleep - The Myth of 8 Hours, The Power of Naps, and a New Plan to Recharge your Mind and Body.

On this episode Nick and I discuss:

  • Nicks background
  • Nicks influences
  • Nick and I discuss the first 5 of the 7 key steps to optimize sleep and restoration that he outlines in his book
  • Nick discusses why having a consisent wake time is an important daily anchor to possess
  • Nick discusses the importance of understanding what a circadian rhythm is 
  • Nick discusses the importance of understanding your chronotype
  • Nick shares with us why it is more important to consider sleep in 90 minute cycles rather than hours
  • Nick talks about the importance of having a pre and post bed-time routine
  • Nick and I discuss about how the circardian rhythm that you were born into may potentially never leave your genetic make up
  • Nick tells us why he decided to use 90mins as his recommended cycle length
  • Nick talks about how the light blub changed our sleeping cycle from poly-phasic to mono phasic
  • Nick shares his thoughts on regulating sleeping patterns with the seasons
  • Nick shares his thoughts on using a day light lamp in the winter and other light regulation strategies
  • Nick tells us why that if "you don't snooze you will lose!", as he discusses why naps and multiple mini-mental breaks, (what Nick terms Controlled Recovery Periods [CRPs]), throughout the day are exellence strategies to enhance physical and mental performance
  • I ask Nick if he feels it is still a better strategy to get the majority of our sleep nocturnally 


This was an outstanding episode with Nick guys, and I hope you really enjoy it.

Stay Strong,



Show Notes:

Nick's Book - Sleep - The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps, and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind

Nick 7 Key Steps to Optimize your sleep, recovery and restoration

1. Understand Circadian Rhythms

2. Get to know your Chronotypes

3. Think of Sleep in Cycles not Hours

4. Have a Pre and Post Bed-Time Routine

5. Utilize daily breaks and naps to maximize performance 

6. Designing your ideal sleep kit

7. Designing your ideal sleep environment 


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