It’s Time to Redefine Sleep and Think Human Recovery Cycles
27th March 2020
In elite sport as coaches we first need to identify the goal, the objective [An event]. The next step is determine if the athlete/player/group are open to being coached, are they coachable and what’s the best approach during the coaching process and period.
I think we can reflect on this during the current climate. The pandemic [our event] will have real negative consequences for many and should be fully respected. It also creates positivity by our need to adopt human behavioural change, which we are moving through right now.
Phase 1. We start with being open to behavioural change
Phase 2. We move to I want to change behaviour
Phase 3. We then move to I need to change behaviour
Phase 4. We then move to I have got to change behaviour and sustain it
Sleep influences everything from mood, motivation, decision making and resilience, understanding our optimum 24/7 approach should be the key health pillar priority.
Research has and continues to reveal that sleep deprivation has a major impact on mental performance and wellbeing. Actual or perceived low impact levels of recovery will affect how well our brain can process information, our emotional response to required tasks, mood, motivation, ability to learn new skills, decision making, reaction times, awareness, alertness, stamina and relationships.
As we roll through the key sleep stages in cycles, our brain can catch up, [regenerate- rejuvenate] prioritise and file all the information both positive and negative, that we have been exposed to during the day. If our brains are not able to reveal the key sleep quality stages in cycles, while we are in a perceived sleep state, then ongoing mental functioning decreases nearly twice as fast as physical performance.
As a result, although we may feel or able to shift to physically functional the following day, it’s likely that we won’t be able to recall everything that we learned the previous day and may struggle to make effective decisions. An increased perception of effort, fatigue kicks in quicker, our mood, motivation imbalanced. Levels of stress hormone cortisol can also rise, decreasing our ability to stay/remain calm in challenging situations.
In an attempt to sleep, overcome fatigue to reveal more beneficial results, we may consider a new mattress, a pillow, change diet, use herbal or medical supplements, sleeping tablets, increase caffeine or alcohol intake, grab a tracker or Sleep App. [The list is endless] In principle however, in isolation used randomly these interventions can develop other counterproductive side effects, and even promote more consistent periods of insomnia.
Worrying about sleep is the key sleep disruptor – Adopt a 24/7 behavioural approach
A far more effective and proven approach is to improve our understanding of sleep, for the first time for most. Debunk it, redefine it and adopt practical, achievable steps to fully reveal this natural human recovery process that still today, remains the uneducated, taken for granted, underrated health pillar.
The R90 Human Recovery Performance Technique
[R90-T- HRP] is focused on Seven Key Sleep Recovery Indicators [KSRI’s] Designed to provide a step by step journey raising awareness, uncovering practical changes and interventions in each KSRI that will aggregate into an overall redefined approach.
Kick Start yourself coaching recovery journey
KSRI 1. Circadian Rhythms [Tap it in the browser & raise your awareness]
This 24-hour cycle regulates our biological and physiological functions. Our body clock regulates our internal systems such as sleeping, eating patterns, hormone production, temperature, alertness, mood and is principally set and reset by daylight, diminished light and dark. [Sunrise – Sunset]
In principle humans living outside would be active in 80,000/100,000 Lux [Daylight] with an average exposure of 10/20,000 Lux season and activity dependent. *tap it in your browser
Download a FREE Lux light meter App – Check out your Lux exposure
When daylight enters our eyelids in the morning, the first phase of our human day, the brain starts to produce the hormone serotonin, which activates all the things that were suppressed for sleep – mood, motivation, appetite, bowel and bladder. As the afternoon, second phase draws on and light levels diminish, the brain produces melatonin, which begins to suppress these things, slowly shutting us down in preparation to enter a sleep state.
Melatonin will also be produced if not enough natural light enters the eye for several hours, inducing feelings of drowsiness and lack of energy and motivation. For many even in elite sport the light exposure is too low throughout the first two phases of the 24 hour cycle. To remain alert and energised, therefore, it’s important to find opportunities to get outside first thing in the morning and at intervals throughout the four phases of the day, or to use daylight therapy tools.
DST Daylight Saving Time kicks in 29th March 2020 01.00am
*dependent on your planet location
With DST [daylight saving time] kicking in on the 29th March 2020, taking the opportunity to lighten up our light awareness, will ensure we are not under or over exposed at the right times during the four light phases of our Circadian every day.
When we shift the clocks and move from winter into spring/summertime, daylight hours jump from an average of 8 hours per day to up to 16 hours…
Useful Links: Free Lux Light meter App – Lumie.com – Humancharger.com – Swanwicksleep.com – Occushield.com
Nick Littlehales Coach: Current Climate Guidelines
○ Tap Circadian Rhythms in your browser
○ Daylight Saving Time DST begins on the 29th March 01.00am take full advantage of this shift in daylight hours and a more positive outlook
○ Lighten Up – Use a light meter on your device to check your light exposure everywhere
○ Get outside safe – Spend as much time by windows – Let the light into your home
○ Sunrise time dependent, keep the curtains open and let the light wake you naturally
○ Consider a SAD or DWS Dawn Wake Simulator lamp
○ A great time if you can to plan your everyday more aligned with your Chronotype [Owl PMer evening type or Lark AMer morning type]
○ It’s more natural for humans to sleep, recover in a Polyphasic manner, in principle shorter periods more often, rather than just one nocturnal block Monophasic [the eight hour in one block generation] – Identify, keep a constant wake time, chop your 24 up into sixteen 90 minute time phases, focus on your first 90 minutes post sleep after wake, plenty of short 2/5 minute distractive brain breaks every 90, grab a 30/20 minute midday/late afternoon nap…Or as we refer to it in sport a CRP controlled recovery period, vacant mindspace me time and take the pressure off your 24/7.
○ Plan ahead of course, but try not to over plan, overthinking increases anxieties that may or may not be revealed. Especially when we in a day by day mindset.
○ Take the opportunity to take everything out of your bedroom mentally, rename it as your recovery room and then think what you would leave in the room that promotes your ability to recover and what could be placed in another room that may not.
○ Socialise through media, create family/friend closed groups, maintain a positive mindset to help others, not judge or be judged, connect others up.
○ Manage your tech and social media time to avoid info overload and reliance.
○ Think of a balanced fasting approach, not stock up and keep exercise up using the stairs if you have them and walking has always been an amazing workout.
“Key to a successful every day is not to take sleep for granted and adopt an approach to remove sleep worry naturally” Nick
R90 Technique REDEFINE – PROTECT – REVEAL a more resilient you…
Go to sportsleepcoach.com and kick start your recovery resilience journey
*now available in four languages
○ Schedule a FREE no obligations call and speak with Nick Littlehales personally on anything that maybe concerning you now or for your recovery future.
○ Complete a FREE online recovery assessment
○ Complete a FREE product consultation if you are considering new products this would be a must before you do.
Consider these easy access, low investment self-coaching tools, part of the new for 2020 R90 Human Recovery Toolkit.
○ Read or Listen to the Game Changing SLEEP REDEFINED human recovery performance book SLEEP author Nick Littlehales the elite sport sleep coach since 1998. 15 languages around the world and still being published.
○ Download and listen in your own time to Nicks best seller ‘Redefine your Approach to Sleep’ A 10 session step by step one to one coaching course at Insighttimer.com
○ R90 Kick Start Recovery Coaching: Book a one to one coaching session with Nick Littlehales a unique and subsidised service launched in March 2020 for a limited period.
○ Follow us on social media for FREE content weekly posts and blogs
○ Check out our You Tube Channel with new personal development awareness content
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Nick’s top 7 elite sport sleep secrets revealed