Why do the Mentally Tough see Sleep and Recovery as Important

Why do the Mentally Tough see Sleep and Recovery as Important

Nick Littlehales

Nick is recognised as the world’s first and leading Elite Sport Sleep Coach, probably the world’s first Sleep Coach and regarded as a leading human recovery innovator. He has over 35 years’ experience within the sleep and sleeping product industry and over 24 years dedicated to elite sport. His unique, passionate, and proven approach, is endorsed by leading sport science professionals, managers, coaches, organisations in sport and now business, health, and education worldwide.

  • International Elite Sport Sleep Coach Since 1998
  • Founder of the Game Changing R90-T Sleep RecoveryTechnique
  • Author #1 Best Seller SLEEP published in 14 languages worldwide
  • Accomplished Media Commentator Presenter Keynote Speaker

If you’re Mentally Tough you don’t need to sleep you can simply push through… Wrong!

The mentally tough person, as research suggests is more likely to deal with fatigue better than a mentally sensitive person however they do need to sleep. Being committed to your goals, making sacrifices, taking challenges head on and dealing with pressure requires a clear head, focus and perspective, as well as adequate rest and recovery.  

In this episode, I chat with Nick Littlehales, a well respected Sleep Coach to many elite sports performers.  Nick goes on to share more on the topic of sleep, where he tells you about his experiences supporting Manchester United and Arsenal football clubs, as well as the England National Team.  We also touch on other sports and the intricacies that need to be considered when you think of sleep and recovery. 

Key Learning Points:

  • At Manchester United I was with the club and exploring myths and misunderstandings about sleep, where I looked to redefine their approach to recovery.
  • Understanding your sleep chronotype is important.
  • Focusing on circadian rhythms can be beneficial.
  • Tracking and collecting data can be helpful but it can also cause anxiety and added stress.
  • Napping is very helpful to remain fresh and focused, aiding your decision making and recovery.
  • Consider your environment and think about light, dark and temperature exposure can improve your sleep quality.
  • A message for parents, make sure your kids spend some time outside, away from the tech to improve their sleep quality.

Connect with Nick Littlehales



Book – Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps…and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind  

Connect with David Charlton

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To Listen to Football or Soccer Podcast Episodes

Ep015: Nick Grantham – Essential Elements of Rest and Recovery

Ep065: Dr Amy Izycky – Encouraging Mentally Healthy Cultures in Sport

Ep092: Dr James Hegarty – ACT in Sport, Improving Performance through Mindfulness

Ep137: David Charlton – Mindfulness and ACT in Sport: Helping Athletes Perform Better 

Other Helpful Resources

Blog: How Mentally Healthy is Your Clubs Sporting Environment

Blog: Does Your Warm Up Influence How You Perform?

Blog: Using ACT and Mindfulness to Improve Your Sporting Performances 

Blog: Why You Should Meditate To Improve Your Sport Performance?



Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly. 

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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