Cristiano Ronaldo – the infernal charged with the performance of the robot. Take any detail and it will definitely surprise you. A separate consultant on the run, a perfectly clean menu, 6-hour reconstructive procedures after trauma. Have you heard anything about contrasting baths? It turns out that if real Madrid play Santiago Bernabeu, Cristiano immediately collects the bag and rushes home to the area of La Finca, where he has already prepared two baths. The first – with hot water, the second-with cold. In burning, he spends about 5 minutes in the cold and freeze 3 more. And so three laps – all for the full recovery of the body.
But now it turns out that Ronaldo is a special even sleep.
British sleep researcher Nick Littlehales in an interview with the Independent said that for three years working on the regime of Cristiano. The Portuguese almost does not sleep for 8 hours in a row, and falls into bed 2 times a day. Over the methodology of Littlehales sleep Ronaldo is divided into 5 cycles with a duration of half an hour. For example, 4,5 or 6 hours Cristiano sleeps at night, and another 3 or 1,5 – sprinkles during the day.
The second important condition-Ronaldo always sleeps in the fetal position and fresh linens (apparently, in his house has a huge Laundry). The mattress should be very thin: “10 centimeters of material is enough for a Person. You’ve noticed that when you go camping and sleep on a thinner mattress, you feel just fine?“says Littlehales.
Nick met Ronaldo in 2014, when he worked at real Madrid at the invitation of Carlo Ancelotti. Littlehales studied the room 81 at the base and talked to the staff of real Madrid about the sleep environment, which affects the sleep of the players: temperature and air quality, lighting, the rigidity of the mattress, and the density of the blankets. During another conversation next turned to Cristiano. “He trained all day, just tired, and it would be logical if he ran immediately into the shower. But no, he noticed us and came up – only to ask what we are discussing,” recalled Littlehales.
Ronaldo was interested in a detailed analysis of the theory of sleep, between them struck up a long conversation. “Everyone who has worked with Ronaldo knows that if he hears the conversation in the corner of the room, then immediately come and ask what it is. He is interested in everything, he tries to absorb new knowledge and invest in himself. He is not interested in General diets, he does not copy other people’s plans and conclusions. He is only interested in what will work for him.”
What is this dream guru?
Littlehales dreamed of becoming a golfer and even professionally engaged in this sport in 1978-1983. There was little success, and to earn more or less decent money, had to reorient: by the nineties Nick became Director of sales and marketing in the company Slumberland, which produces beds and linens. Studying the specifics of the market, Littlehales became more and more immersed in science and once realized that he could use new knowledge in sports.
In 1998, Littlehales wrote to sir Alex Ferguson for good luck. It is not to be begged to work, but rather just interested in what you are doing in the “Manchester United” sleeping main stars. Ferguson has carefully studied this appeal, interviewed all the assistants and understand that sleep is not monitored. Nick was called for an interview.
“Ferguson is a progressive Manager, anyone else would probably not read my letter and just throw it in a bucket. But we started cooperating. It all started with Gary Pallister: he was coming back from the away games on a special bed in the club bus, because his back was in a terrible state, he could not even sit still for a long time. It turned out that the reason was that Gary slept at home in a completely wrong position. We found the optimal position, and in the end he did not need to lie on the table of the physiotherapist. Seeing this, the MU physiotherapists began to wonder how other players sleep, even went home to young players.”
Since then, Ryan Giggs remains Littlehales ‘ loyal customer. Also, John Terry, Didier Drogba and the winner of the Tour de France Bradley Wiggins worked individually with Nick, in full squad – Manchester United (almost 15 years), Arsenal, Manchester city, Liverpool, England, Southampton, Blackburn and Formula 1 team Red Bull.
For each member of the UK Cycling team Littlehales before the Olympics-2012 developed individual mattresses-they were deployed on the floor, and the standard beds from the Olympic village were intact. Even more radical he entered the football Euro 2004 with the England team: the usual beds were taken to the warehouse and replaced them with full sets for sleep, which also lay on the floor. “The hotel staff thought the English were crazy. And many people in football still think that because of sleep too much fuss, ” nick noticed.
Carelessness top clubs Littlehales stabs to the heart: “the Managers pay players millions of pounds and not think about sleep, which also affects energy and concentration, and to recover, and at the speed of thought. Very often in the football player’s bedroom this picture: in front of the bed there is a TV, next to the laptop and tablet, in the room there are lights. Very few people understand that in the first hour of sleep all this light is like a laser for the pineal body, which produces melatonin, a regulator of daily rhythms. As a result of exposure to such light, there is no proper balance between sleep hormones and waking hormones. This prevents you to sleep soundly, and then responds with a feeling of fatigue during the day. If you do it right, you will be cheerful.”
But why is Ronaldo sleeping so strangely?
First, Littlehales sure that the usual statement “you have to sleep at night for at least 8 hours” – just a myth, the body does not require such a distribution of sleep. “Historically, people slept in several phases-in short periods in the evening, at night, in the afternoon. To sleep in one solid block, we began only with the invention of the light bulb. You can easily make sure the natural order of things, if you follow the lives of different tribes.
Secondly, Littlehales argues that the main thing in a dream – is the accounting of circadian rhythms (differences in the intensity of biological processes day and night – because of the light and temperature), and not a fixed number of hours. Activity increases body temperature and contributes to the production of various hormones. And to normalize all chemical processes, it is necessary to adhere to sleep cycles.
According to Littlehales, in one hour and a half cycle, the human body goes through various stages of sleep (particularly deep and fast), which are necessary for rest and recovery. “It is important to set the time when you need to Wake up, and constantly get up at this time. Then, taking into account the cycles, count the time when you need to go to bed. 7 and a half hours of sleep, that is 5 cycles, is optimal for an adult. If you have to get up at 06: 30, it is right to go to bed at 11 PM. If you do not get to lie down at 11, it is best to wait until the next cycle (00:30). It’s always better to Wake up at the end of a cycle than in the middle. You can’t go through all the stages in a shorter time,” Littlehales says.
This implies a third point: an ordinary person can be missing and a continuous block of 3-5 sleep cycles, but the athlete who spends a huge amount of energy, requires recharging. That is why Ronaldo sleeps less at night and gets the clock during the day. This usually occurs either 13 to 15 or 17 to 19 according to nick, in these periods most often falling energy levels of the body.
At the same time, Littlehales argues that it is useful for everyone to take a NAP for 30 minutes. With reference to the research of the University of Dusseldorf, he notes that a short sleep improves memory, and NASA adds that this sleep increases the attention of pilots by 34%. “You can take a NAP everywhere-even in a free meeting room in the office, even in a quiet corner of the kitchen, even on a soft Ottoman on the floor. Someone can quickly fall into a dream, someone does not get it, but it is not so important. The main thing is to close your eyes and disconnect from external events. A short pause will refresh your thinking and restart your body. The main thing is to give yourself five minutes to return to the rhythm of work, do not just sit at the computer.”
Some advice and thoughts from Littlehales
1. The temperature in the bedroom should be at 16-18 degrees Celsius, the blanket is better to choose not thick and wool, and light microfiber, as it is sensitive to temperature. Stuffiness threatens the body with dehydration.
2. It is best to sleep in the fetal position: “right – Handers should curl up on the left side, left-handers-on the right.”
3. The pillow should not be high (low enough one), and wall better do bright.
4. One and a half hours before bedtime is better to abandon the TV, smartphone and bright light. It is ideal to use lighting systems with adjustable power (as an exotic option – to brush your teeth by candlelight). This Is all important so as not to irritate the body with bright light before going to sleep – otherwise there will be no proper balance between sleep and Wake hormones.
5. Sleep time should be calculated by one and a half hour cycles, the full method is higher.
6. Be sure to define your chronotype (roughly – lark, owl or border) – for example, on the site of Littlehales. This will help you choose the right sleep time.
7. During sleep, the body needs complete darkness-without bedside lamps, small lights and so on. This contributes to the proper production of melatonin.
8. I can’t fall asleep right away. What to do to follow the cycles?
Littlehales calls thoughts the most powerful sleep disturbance: regardless of whether a person remembers past events or thinks about the upcoming ones, there is a release of stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol) that make them worry even more. He offers several ways to deal with this: meditation helps someone, breathing training helps someone, but Nick himself prefers to write out everything that he was concerned about during the day on paper in advance. This helps to avoid unnecessary reflection.
9. It turns out that sleeping together is not quite right
“A person is not initially adapted to sleeping with someone. We started to do this only because of emotional connections, but in natural conditions one person would sleep under one tree, and the second – under the next. Therefore, I suggest couples to buy a super King size bed. It’s better to get some sleep.“