Meet the man who has helped cristiano ronaldo, thierry henry and sergio aguero sleep football news sky sports

How do footballers maintain energy levels throughout a gruelling season? Sky Sports spoke to Nick Littlehales – an elite sports sleep coach who has worked with Cristiano Ronaldo, the Class of 92, Thierry Henry and more – to look at his influence on the way footballers recover and sleep.

Building on the initial work of British Cycling, Team Sky, with a hefty budget, helped transform not only the success of professional British cyclists, but the way cycling is viewed in the United Kingdom.

A crack team of sports scientists, strategists, data analysts and experts in every department from nutrition to performance all played their part. One man who played an important role in the success story is Nick Littlehales, an elite sleep coach who instructed Team Sky on how to best rest their weary riders.


The results were incredible.

"Then I’d be in the media room at Melwood [Liverpool’s training ground] and I was lying on the table showing Steven Gerrard the best position to sleep in ms word 2007 recovery software free download. The team doctors were getting too many questions about sleep, so in I came."

With so many elite clubs coming in for Littlehale’s new-found expertise, it was only a matter of time until the FA came calling. The arrival of Sven-Goran Eriksson gave Littlehales that chance.

"We looked at the hotel, where the sun came up, so looked at protocols for keeping the sun out, adjusting the air con, pillows, duvets, linen, and layers to make the mattresses more comfortable from a postural care [body shape] point of view.

"That created a lot of press. Eriksson was a great media person, this team were full of superstars, and they were being told what to do by this sleep coach. People were like ‘what are you doing?’" United connection intrigues Ronaldo

From there came the meeting that Littlehales is best known for, a conversation between Carlo Ancelotti and the Real Madrid doctors, that unexpectedly piqued the interest of Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I got asked to go to Real Madrid as I had done a lot of work with Chelsea, with sports scientist Jack Nayler, Paul Clement and Carlo Ancelotti data recovery software free full version crack. They all teamed up at Real Madrid and were keen to get me in to talk to the squad.

"We went into their training facility, checked out all the penthouse rooms to see if we could improve them. Their medical side was not that good, and they knew that.

"Gareth Bale had just arrived active file recovery software for android. The whole first-team squad were all there when I came in to advise them. We were sat on the training ground pitch, going around talking to everybody download software power data recovery gratis. Ronaldo was training on his own because he was injured, doing some recovery training on the pitch.

"Ronaldo looked at me, and knew I had been working with Manchester United, and due to the massive connection he still has with that club, was interested; Manchester United’s sleep coach was in the players’ lounge. So several of them just stood on the edge and watched, Ronaldo being one.

"Whatever we did still works, as Jack moved onto to Celtic and I am working with Celtic now. It is highly likely that players, like Cristiano Ronaldo, took it all on board. I mean, Gareth Bale is now promoting a mattress!"

So what’s the secret? How do you tell a millionaire footballer how best to rest? Littlehales insists there are no expensive gadgets required, it is all about influencing the habits of players and trying to lessen the effects of the technological, 24/7 world.

"It is about sleeping in cycles," Littlehales says. "You need 35 sleep cycles in a week. 90 minutes is how we measure sleep cycles. Five a day gives you 7.5 hours active file recovery software full version free download. That can be three or four back-to-back and then a nap in the afternoon. You are just aiming for five cycles per day, on average.

"Players can look at their week, and work out how to get better recovery times through these cycles data recovery software free download kickass. Hotels and stress ahead of a game reduced chance of recovery, so we have to think more carefully about how we are going to get them to sleep.

It is about sleeping in cycles. You need 35 sleep cycles in a week. 90 minutes is how we measure sleep cycles. Five a day gives you 7.5 hours download software recovery data full version gratis. That can be three or four back-to-back and then a nap in the afternoon. You are just aiming for five cycles per day, on average.

"Me and the coaches can look at the diary, and we work out how we get these 90-minute cycles in. 30 will be back-to-back, at night, but then we work out how we can get a full 90-minute cycle in during the day, through three 30 minutes or more 20-minute stints. It can just be a quiet 20 minutes with a towel over your head to block out the light.

"The Ryan Giggs and David Beckhams of this world had recovery times, naturally, between training sessions top file recovery software free. Now, everything is 24/7. While players are waiting for the coach to bring out the balls for training, they are all on their phones right up until the last minute. It is a lack of mental recovery state.

"There has been no recovery education along this process file data recovery software free. We have just wandered into this modern world without thinking of when I need to shut this tech down so my mind can recover.

So what now? Is Littlehales’s work done? Has he educated teams and have they changed the way they think? The likes of Manchester City and Brighton are currently taking Littlehale’s thinking to the next level and adapting their state-of-the-art facilities around getting their players the best rest time possible. City are especially keen, and with football becoming more and more about marginal gains, like cycling, it could be the difference between winning and losing the title. Man City take recovery seriously

"Clubs around the world, Houston Astros baseball team, the Miami Dolphins, there are clubs who are now allocating budgets, and what to do something about this area. It is a different era now," Littlehales adds.

"From my relationship with United, I started working with Sam Erith [head of sports science] at Manchester City fat32 data recovery software free download. He was massively into recovery and got me involved. We wanted to make this new, incredible training facility as much about recovery as possible.

"These rooms in the training facility are not palatial like they are at Real Madrid. They have blackout curtains, but they aren’t grand. They are just based on recovery.