The 90-min sleep rule that works for Ronaldo


    Cristiano Ronaldo may be a tireless monster on the field of play but he gets a fair dose of sleep just like every normal human.

    Per the accounts and testimonies of many who have encountered the Portuguese superstar, he is always the first to get to the training grounds and the last to leave. The result of his resilience and hard work is what has, over the years, made him the players he is now.


    A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

    It is no secret that he has more often than not become the go-to man when things seem to fall apart on the field of play. Obviously, there is a limit to everything and after a good day’s job, Ronaldo retires to his comfy bed in his plush place of abode in the Spanish city of Madrid.

    Nevertheless, an interesting disclosure made recently with regards to how the four-time Ballon d’Or winner sleeps could really be a game-changer for anyone who aims to become as accomplished as he is. Inasmuch as one looks to make gains through training, sleep equally supplements the gains if approached properly.

    Good night ??

    A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

    As humans, our body clocks are naturally programmed to go into hibernation when our systems feel overworked. What most people are used to is the conventional eight hours’ continuous sleep which sees us retiring to bed at night and waking up every morning to recapitulate our cycle of livelihood.

    A study championed by Nick Littlehales, a sleep consultant, tends to object this popular concept although some other people seem to be thriving in its practice. Littlehales, as his job description suggests, has over the years enlightened Cristiano Ronaldo on the ways to get the best out of himself while sleeping.

    According to the Englishman, the Real Madrid superstar’s inquisitiveness propelled him to gain insights from him which he believes has contributed significantly to his development as a football superstar.

    “I was invited to Real Madrid when Carlo Ancelotti became the manager,” Nick Littlehales told the Independent newspaper.

    Nick Littlehales

    “I was standing on the edge of the training pitch, talking to the Madrid staff, when Ronaldo ran over.

    “He had been training all day and you would have expected him to run straight to the dressing room for a shower but he asked what we were discussing.

    “He was interested in what I was trying to do because as an athlete he has always invested in himself.

    “From what I have learned from working with 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?”

    Although Littlehales withheld the intrinsic details of the conversation, he advised that the iconic number 7 resort to five cycles of 90 minutes sleeps. The former Manchester United winger has since stuck to the advice.

    It is purported that in order to enjoy the full benefits of the therapy, Cristiano Ronaldo switches off his phone and stops watching any medium with a screen an hour and a half before his head hits his pillow. That way, he eliminates any forms of distractions while calibrating his mind to attract sleep the natural way.

    It also ensures that he gets his bedtime right so he wakes up at the end of a sleep cycle (the equivalent of 90 minutes) instead of midway, where he’d be in a deeper stage of sleep. This is effectual as it is scientifically proven that each sleep cycle contains five distinct phases, with an individual ready to wake up after the fifth phase (the end of the 90 minutes) without any complications.

    Moving on, the second and final advice given by Nick Littlehales to Cristiano Ronaldo that should also interest any aspiring pro-athlete is sleeping in the foetal position on a comfortable bed with fresh laundry.

    A good posture is very vital in the development of physique and as a result, persons who falter in maintaining a good figure have a greater risk of getting injured, becoming inefficient and eventually sabotaging workouts after waking up.

    As there is time to play and work so is there time to rest. Working hard to get into the best possible shape is certainly vital if one aims to excel in any physical sport. However, undermining the impact of sleep or not performing it rightly could eventually hinder the progress an athlete seeks.

    Like a wise man once said; your future depends on your dreams so go to sleep! And while at it do it the right way- the Ronaldo way!

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    Emmanuel is a very vibrant writer from Ghana. Young but not small. Humble but full of hunger to learn and confidence to achieve greater heights in the world of online journalism. Emmanuel is passionate about the Beautiful Game with special love for English giants Manchester United and their former number 7 icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. In his leisure time, he loves writing and reading practically anything; old notes, e-books, articles... you name it! The Accra native and devoted Christian also loves drawing, swimming, watching and playing football both on the field and via FIFA video games. At times, Emmanuel loves to find himself alone at the beach and in nature.


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