HOW TO SLEEP LIKE AN OLYMPIAN
Nick Littlehales takes snoozing seriously. We quiz the sleep coach to Team GB and author of ‘Sleep’ (Penguin, £9.99) on his top tips for us mere mortals
Find out your chronotype A chronotype is what kind of sleeper you are – essentially a morning or evening person. For a diagnosis, Littlehales recommends taking the Munich University Questionnaire ( bioinfo.mpg.de). Once you find out your type, you can learn to juggle your day to better suit it.
Think in terms of marginal gains
This is the technique used to improve elite sportspeople’s performance using tiny adjustments. For example, try to sleep on your non-dominant side ( lefties on their right etc.), or invest in hypoallergenic bedding. Try a ‘zone out’ period ‘Call it a nap and you won’t get anywhere – think of it as a recharge moment,’ advises Littlehales. This can be 15 minutes of staring out of the window or a walk, but no screen-watching. Manipulate daylight ‘Schedule your lifestyle around hours of daylight,’ suggests Littlehales. During winter, he champions dawn-wake simulators to help you wake up to a faux sunrise. It will raise levels of the awakening hormone serotonin. Don’t lie-in at weekends If you are a ‘Pm-er’, you spend the week adjusting your natural body clock to start at 9am. ‘Throw this out at the weekend and you’ll get what we call social jet-lag come Monday,’ says Littlehales (sportsleepcoach.com).