If you don’t snooze, you’ll lose

We all know how important our sleep is, and yet, so many of us still struggle with the notion of whether we are getting ‘enough’ sleep and when the right time to actually sleep and recover is. There is so much emphasis placed around sleeping at night and getting enough hours in. At Sports Sleep Coach however, we study and acknowledge the benefits of recovery and sleep around the clock; in the sense that it is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week commitment – not just something to consider at night or when we feel like it.

Whilst the most important sleep window does occur at night, usually peaking between 2-3am in accordance with our circadian rhythms, there are also useful windows in the day. These are generally between 1-3pm and 5-7pm depending on the individual. The midday period (1-3pm) is when daytime fatigue really kicks in, and you begin to feel drowsy and lethargic. This is the perfect opportunity to fit in either a 90-minute sleep cycle or a 30-minute Controlled Recovery Period (CRP). Even if you can’t get to sleep, simply taking a break to switch off from the world is proven to boost overall recovery and performance. For those of you that work 9-5, the 5-7pm window can prove useful, although we recommend only a 30-minute CRP so your nightly slumber isn’t affected.

If scheduled correctly, these ‘naps’ or ‘CRP’s can boost performance, alertness and mood, as well as supplementing our nocturnal cycles. As Nick Littlehales explains, “if you don’t snooze, you’ll lose” – A concept which is evidenced by the endless list of positive effects that CRP’s can have on your physical and mental wellbeing and performance throughout the day and even into the evening.

It’s a universally known fact that tiredness negatively affects performance and productivity, so why not plan your recovery breaks in advance to ensure you are performing at your best? We recommend breaks at least every 90 minutes during the day, to refresh your mind and get your brain functioning at its best. For more information on how to integrate CRP’s into your personal routine, check out Nick Littlehales’ number one bestselling book ‘Sleep’.