Meeting with Nick Littlehales the author of 'Sleep - The Myth of eight hours'

I have become really interested in the subject of sleep for quite some time. Designing luxury pyjamas and nightwear, it recently dawned on me, that no one has ever really researched whether what you wear to bed can affect how much shut eye you get and if it improves or harmed the amount you manage every night. 

There have been plenty of studies and evidence giving great advice on how to achieve the perfect eight hours and we can all recite by heart not to have a blue light in the bedroom, nice bath pre bed, writing in a notebook but I wanted to understand more and hear what the experts had to say.

One of the experts whose approach fascinated me is Nick Littlehales and it was after reading his book ‘Sleep - the myth of eight hours’ that I made contact and we arranged to meet up.

Nick Littlehales Sleep

I read his book cover to cover but it does not mention clothing at all and how relevant it is for sleep and I found that really interesting and wanted to ask him why?

Nick has the unusual job of being a sports sleep coach. He has made a career out of advising premiere league footballers, Olympic gold medalists and sports people on how to sleep well and improve their performance on the track as a result of being well rested.

For Nick eight hours doesn’t exist, it’s much more about sleeping in cycles and as long as you get either four or five cycles throughout a twenty four hour period, you will be getting enough sleep. This means no more straining to stay in bed throughout the night, even if you wake up and can’t sleep anymore, he believes it is far more important that if you need to get up, you get up and then take a nap during the day. He also urges us to remember that we are all different chronotypers meaning some of us are morning people and some are evening people and we need to listen to our body clocks and adjust our sleeping habits accordingly.

We talked at length about the link between mental health and a lack of sleep and how today, we are facing the increasingly difficult task of not being able to switch off. 

I asked Nick how important he felt the pre sleep and post sleep period was to wellbeing and he stressed that it is this time which is key to having a great sleep. When snuggling down make your bedroom your clean cool sanctuary and your bed as big as you can. 

The bit I found fascinating was what he said about security and how important feeling safe is to your pre sleep routine. As Nick says in his book "If a performer needs his or her favourite teddy bear to sleep, it comes with us, anything to produce the safest most secure environment for them to go into a sleep state.” So it can be anything, but if it makes you feel comfortable and secure then that thing will be your gateway to a fantastic sleep. 

Afterwards it got me thinking about our fabric and why we invest so much time in ensuring Homebody really does help the wearer relax and maybe that is the important factor in why wearing pyjamas can help aid sleep. If our bodies react to our clothing because they are familiar and remind us of home, then that can be just the message the body needs to switch off and start the wind down process.

Nick's message about sleep is clear - if you follow his program for sleep you will be able to function at your peak whatever your routine and that is the beauty of Homebody pyjamas.

It is the same message for us...wherever you are, if you put on your Homebodies you will always be able to relax and enjoy that nurturing feeling just as Nick talked about...let Homebody be yours.

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