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Unity Challenge: SLEEP

NICK LITTLEHALES

As Europe's leading sleep coach specialising in sports performance, Nick has helped some of the world's best athletes at Manchester United, British Cycling and Team GB.

Unity Challenge: SLEEP

Adopt the techniques used by elite athletes for better quality sleep
Adopt the techniques used by elite athletes for better quality sleep

Unity Challenge: SLEEP

Sleep is the foundation of human performance. From alertness to recall and increased energy levels to protection against illness, sleep is vital for your general wellbeing.

NICK LITTLEHALES

As Europe's leading sleep coach specialising in sports performance, Nick has helped some of the world's best athletes at Manchester United, British Cycling and Team GB.

Actions

1
See the light

Get at least 2hrs of natural light everyday

Your circadian rhythms (body clock) are set by external cues, chief among them daylight. Aim for at least 2hrs of natural light exposure everyday this week, ideally getting some as soon as you wake up to ensure your body knows when to be wakeful and when it's time to rest.

2
Say no to afternoon Joe

No caffeine after 3pm

While caffeine can be used during the day to help you nap more efficiently (yes, really), it can take up to 6hrs to stop affecting the body. Other dietary stimulants to avoid later in the day include alcohol, nicotine and refined sugar. Cut out as much as you can for optimum sleep, but start by ditching caffeine after 3pm for the next seven days.

3
Be good (most of the time)

Follow an optimum sleep routine at least four nights this week

The problem with most sleep advice is that it requires us to completely change our evening routines, which is simply not possible for most of us to do all the time. This week, aim for at least four nights of the perfect bedtime routine. That means at least two hours before bed:

  • No screens (even on night modes)

  • Dim the lights

  • Lower the temperature in your bedroom (15-19 degrees celsius is ideal)

  • Prepare for the following day (make your lunch, pack your bag, write a to-do list etc.)

4
Set your alarm

Get up at the same time everyday

While it's not always possible to have the perfect bedtime routine, waking at the same time should be achievable. Identify the earliest you need to wake in the week and set your alarm for that time everyday, even the weekend. This helps your body clock establish a routine

It’ll be tough at first, but by the end of the week you’ll start your days feeling more awake and alert.

Challenge completed?
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