My second book review for the That’s Gotta Hurt Book Club is Sleep by Nick Littlehales.

Title: Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps…and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind
Author: Nick Littlehales
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Penguin UK, December 27, 2016

The demands on athletes are tremendous. They travel across several time zones for a game and fly home in the middle of the night. They train for hours a day and fit interviews or school or their families into any possible free time. It’s hard for them to develop a regular schedule and achieve the physical and mental recovery they need.

Nick Littlehales, the elite sports sleep coach

Enter Nick Littlehales, the elite sports sleep coach. Littlehales has consulted with some of the best athletes and teams in the world. He has dedicated his career to improving the recovery of elite athletes. Now he wants to help you.

Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps...and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind

In his new book, Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps…and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind, Littlehales aims to help people optimize their lives and work. Yes, as the title implies, sleep is an important part of his process. It’s about much more, though. Littlehales teaches you simple steps to feel and perform better.

The R90 recovery process

The foundation of Littlehales’ plan is the R90 recovery process. Instead of thinking of one night’s sleep as a seven- or eight-hour period, break it down into 90-minute cycles. 90 minutes is the length of time it takes you to go through all the stages of one sleep cycle. Instead of sleeping a typically recommended eight hours, you could sleep for five cycles, or seven hours, 30 minutes.

In Sleep, Littlehales focuses on seven key recovery indicators. Within the discussion of each indicator, he shares tips to optimize them.

Woman drinking coffee due to lack of sleep

Using the R90 program to improve your recovery and performance

Then he shows you how to incorporate the R90 program into your life to improve your performance and well-being.

Here is just a glimpse of what you will learn:

• How to manipulate your daily schedule based on your chronotype to be at your best when it matters most
• How to set your wake time and then determine the best times to go to sleep each night
• When you should never eat or exercise
• What the best position is for sleeping (yes, there is only one correct position)
• How to determine the type and size of mattress you need based on your body habitus
• How you should use caffeine and how much is too much
• How to change your pre-sleep routine to get the best night of sleep
• How to improve your alertness, mood and productivity at work
• How to create recovery periods during the day without napping
• What should be in your bedroom… and what shouldn’t
• Why using televisions, cell phones and other technology at night disrupts your sleep and how you should change your use of this technology during the day

Littlehales explained to me how better recovery can change the game for athletes – and everyone. “If you can raise someone’s perceived value of how they are sleeping, they feel more in control of it. They understand why they are doing it. They can minimize the consequences when it goes wrong. They know what to do when someone asks them to do something at a particular time. They know how to go through that process because they’re far more aware of it and feel more in control of it.”

On a personal note, I’ve been using the R90 program to improve my sleep for about nine months, and I’ve never felt better. If you or your athletes want to perform your best, you might give Sleep a chance.

Click here to get your copy of Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps…and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind.

Learn to improve your sleep to improve your performance.

Click this link for more information about the That’s Gotta Hurt Book Club.