How to sleep like a pro soccer player
Napping has a bad reputation, one that’s undeserved, says Littlehales. Before the light bulb was invented, people would sleep a shorter period at night, but also around noon or early evening. Hence he suggests controlled recovery periods between 1 and 3 p.m. and again between 5 and 7 p.m. Tip: Drink an espresso before you nap. Its effect only kicks in after 20 minutes and it’ll give you an energy boost when you wake up.
For the sleep coach, there is only one proper position to sleep in and that’s on the side opposite the hand you write with. “The reason goes back to our primeval instincts. I’m right-handed, so if I sleep on my left side, I’m better able to protect myself in case of a surprise attack.” The position signals to your brain that you’re safe and helps you enter the sleep phase.
What should you do if you’re an athlete and can’t sleep the night before a big event? Littlehales’ tip is surprising: Don’t sleep. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Meditate. He also tells his athletes to watch footage of their great achievements, anything that relaxes them, because you can regenerate even when semi- conscious and still produce your best. But, he stresses, it’s important to catch up on any missed sleep as soon as you can.