For many years we’ve had a culture of “Force” over “Flow”. We’ve been conditioned to view sleep as a sign of weakness. The more hours you work and less sleep you get… the more ambitious you are. A belief like this is more widely accepted if our cultural hero’s in athletes, entrepreneurs, and more also believe in the concept of work all day and sleep as little as possible.
Superstar Soccer player Christians Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world. One of his greatest strengths is how he takes care of his body just like LeBron James. He’s even hired “Sleep Coach” Nick Littlehales to help him learn the best way for him to get the best sleep and be at his best the next day. LeBron James and Roger Federer are said to log in about 12 hours of sleep. Of course, these are world class athletes and most of us have jobs that require a much less physical toll…. nonetheless many of us are working many hours a day which takes a toll on our mental, physical, and emotional well being. So much so that we look for caffeine and substances to wake us up and do our job. Unfortunately, this is short lived and at one point we burn out and our health and performance worsens. Thierry Henry, a retired French Superstar World Cup Winning Player was asked by the Rugby Football League to talk to players. Many were stressed and because of that, they found themselves addicted to supplements, caffeine and alcohol. In Henry’s words “What they really needed to combat stress was to learn how to sleep.”
Lastly, these are the 3 lessons we can adopt from superstar athletes
1.) Seek people to help you sleep. A sleep coach or an accountability buddy can drastically improve your ability to get started and gain momentum.
2.) Experiment: Find what works best for you. Maybe taking multiple naps works for you or maybe all you need is 7 hours of sleep to rejuvenate. According to Ronaldo’s sleep coach he said this about him “Ronaldo is not interested in fad diets, he is not interested in copying others. The only thing he is concerned with is: does it work for him?”
3.) Prioritize sleep: These athletes don’t just think sleep is important… they value sleep in the same way they value training. Write it down in your calendar like you would an important business meeting or a date.