Category: Sleep

Sleep coaching – the next big thing

Having a diverse set of skills and a broad knowledge base is becoming increasingly important to those hoping to succeed as a personal trainer. As consumers’ focus switches to whole-person health, areas such as sleep and sleep recovery will become just as important as providing clients with the right exercise regime. 

Diversification has become a key consideration for all fitness professionals. Being able to offer more than “just exercise” could mean the difference between success and failure in an age where an explosion of at-home exercise opportunities – coupled with wearables, fitness trackers and wellness apps – have transformed the traditional gym sector. 

Personal trainers can no longer purely rely on their prowess in strength and conditioning coaching or their knowledge of physiology. Sleep – and sleep recovery in particular – for example, are areas in which consumer demand is growing rapidly. 

To provide personal trainers, wellness professionals and performance coaches with the skills needed to assist with sleep recovery, Nordic Fitness Education (NFE) has developed a unique course. The online-based Sleep Recovery Specialist course provides essential foundational knowledge, sleep assessment tools, and a wide range of effective strategies for coaching clients to improve their sleep-related behaviours and routines. 

One of the coaches to have completed the course recently is Barry Bridges, a sport scientist and qualified personal trainer based in Cape Town, South Africa. We spoke to Barry to find out how NFE’s sleep course has transformed his business.

How long have you been working in fitness/wellness? 

For around 15 years. My background is in sports science and is a mixture of practical experience and academic work. I’ve mainly worked in corporate wellness and in professional sports, from helping professional golfers with their fitness to performance coaching of esports athletes. 

What attracted you to enrol on the Sleep Recovery Specialist course?

I had previously completed a Sleep Science Coach Certification and was looking to further my knowledge – and that’s when I came across Nordic Fitness Education. I spoke to Ben Pratt and he took me through the curriculum and explained to me in great detail what the course offered. 

The subjects and topics – from sleep physiology and analysis to sleep strategies – were eye-catching and I felt that the course offered just what I was looking for. I liked the fact that I didn’t really know a lot about some of the topics, as it would mean that I would be expanding my knowledge base. 

What skills/knowledge, in particular, were you looking to acquire/improve by enrolling on the course?

One area was definitely to get more information on chronotype and sleep analysis. I was keen on those because I wanted to improve my skills in sleep assessments. My previous sleep training with another provider didn’t cover assessments that thoroughly. NFE offered much more in this area – and it’s all based on science. 

Do you feel that the course was successful in equipping you with those?

Definitely. I think the course syllabus and the way the NFE break down each subject matter makes it easy for people to understand and learn – whether they come from a scientific background or not. 

The course also included practical aspects with everything backed up with theory. I love having both the practical and the theory. It’s the same with my career – my practical experience is important for doing my job, but I also want a qualification or certification which shows that I know what I’m doing.

What were the most useful learnings you have gained from the course?

I’m constantly using the knowledge the course gave me around sleep assessments. I also really like the personal touch of having a sleep diary. I’m also utilising what I’ve learnt around different sleep analysis – in particular how to capture data and the understanding of the data offered by different wearable devices. 

I also learnt a lot on the sleep physiology side – especially when it comes to the different chronotypes – and also about the different sleep recovery methodologies. What I liked was that the learning was also backed with a lot of data and scientific information. 

Was the course what you expected? Any surprises on the way?

Yes, absolutely. I’d give the course an overall mark of 5/5, because it covered all aspects – from the science of sleep to the practical applications of each subject. This makes it perfect for both those who already might have scientific knowledge about sleep, as well as who don’t. 

As for surprises, the final case study was a bit of a surprise and really tested the knowledge the students have acquired! 

What was, for you, the most positive aspect of the course?

I’d say the content of the course and the flow of each subject. The lecturing from the tutor, Ben, made it quite easy to understand and there was quite an easy flow with each subject matter. This meant that you weren’t ever lost on the journey and he took you through the different sections. 

There are around six sections on the course and it all builds up nicely as you go. You start by learning what the problems of sleep are, move on to the science of sleep physiology and then learn about the practical suggestions. 

How did you find the online learning experience?

It worked perfectly. The course materials were easy to access and read and if I ever struggled with anything, the tutors would give me feedback. The course materials – such as the sleep assessments – were nicely laid out too. 

What also impressed me was that everything had been thought about from a technical point of view. For example, there are some expert interviews you could tune into, but if for some reason you missed them, you could access a breakdown of them as a written document. 

Would you recommend the course to others – and if so, why?

I would definitely recommend it to anyone in the personal training space or those working as life or wellness coaches. It’s also very useful for those working in areas to do with strength and conditioning and high performance. 

I think the key thing is that it gives you a really big market to tap into. More and more people are now aware of the benefits of sleep – not least because of the global pandemic. 

From a business point of view, I think it is a great way for personal trainers to diversify. It adds another string to their bow, whether they want to add it to their existing services or specialise as a sleep coach and target a specific market, such as corporations or professional sports teams.

Sleep and sleep science is a field that will continue to grow and I genuinely believe that having expertise in this area could offer unlimited earning potential. The demand for sleep coaches is growing and, at the moment, there aren’t that many of us. If you do a Google search on nutrition coaches, strength and conditioning experts or sports scientists and you get thousands of hits. Not so for sleep coaches. 

Has the course enabled you to offer services you weren’t able to before?

Definitely, it has given me additional tools and learning which support my existing skills. I now have my own website ( and I’m specialising as a sleep and recovery coach. 

I think there will be a big drive towards sleep coaching over the next year and we will see sleep coaches in all types of areas…especially those related to elite performance.

What was your impression of Nordic Fitness Education as a training provider?

Very good. I’m very big on accreditation processes, so the course being accredited with eREPs was a big thing. It was also obvious that all the learning was backed up with the latest scientific literature regarding sleep science. 

Want to add another string to your bow and take your PT offering (and career) to the next level? Find out how you can train up to become a Sleep Recovery Specialist with an eREPS accredited course by clicking here:

Everything was run very professionally and the tutor, Ben, was always extremely helpful with any queries.

I trained as a sleep recovery specialist – now I train up to 400 people at a time

The increased focus on whole-person health among consumers has given rise to a new appreciation for all things sleep. PTs who are prepared to invest a bit of time and effort in adding sleep recovery to their skillset could soon see a huge return on that investment.

Workplace wellbeing specialist Mandy Bisson recently completed Nordic Fitness Education’s (NFE) Sleep Recovery Specialist course. Mandy was looking to add to her knowledge in the wellness space, as her background already blended a career in corporate and business unit strategic planning with niche experience in workplace wellbeing.

Having worked with organisations of all sizes, she had helped build and implement effective wellbeing strategies that delivered results – for both businesses and the people within them. The strategies she has created have driven sustainable high performance – through happier, healthier, more productive and more engaged employees – and also linked to bottom-line results.

Mandy wanted to further expand her knowledge base. This led her to enrol on the sleep recovery course, which has added an important element to the wellness expertise she is able to draw from – corporate sleep webinars. We spoke to Mandy about her experiences regarding the course.

Interview with Mandy

What attracted you to enrol on the Sleep Recovery Specialist course?

I know how important sleep is to overall health, and see the pillars of sleep/nutrition/movement/stress as completely intertwined. Sleep is a real issue for people with stressful corporate jobs, so I knew there would be a demand for knowledge in that space.

What knowledge, in particular, were you looking to acquire by enrolling on the course?

Understanding the science behind sleep and finding a way to apply it in a practical way

Do you feel that the course was successful in equipping you with that?

Yes! The combination of content/assessments and analysis/questionnaires was good, I feel I can speak with credibility now. And when I add the qualification I received from the course to the large amount of reading I have done around the topic, I feel confident and comfortable leading sleep training and coaching sessions with people across organisations – including executive members.

What other useful learnings did you gain from the course?

One that springs to mind is how to assess – and then tailor – strategies to the individual.

How have you utilised the skills you’ve learnt during the course?

I now deliver 60-minute corporate sleep webinars to employees in organisations. The webinars can have anything from four to 400 people on them! When we can resume work in offices, I will probably run similar sessions, but face-to-face. I also deliver sleep coaching to individuals.

Was the course what you expected? Any surprises on the way?

It was as I expected, I think! The instant access to the course tutor, Ben, to ask questions was better than I expected (and his response times were very quick).

What was, for you, the most positive aspect of the course?

The flexible way of learning and the balance of science vs. practical application.

How did you find the online learning experience – and have you done online courses before?

I studied a diploma in nutrition for a year, so was used to online learning. It works well for me as a busy mum of two boys (plus two labradors), a house and work to juggle. The flexibility offered by being able to study when it suited me – and around family life – was key.

Would you recommend the course to others – and if so, why?

Yes, I would definitely recommend it to others, as it provides a great foundation to understand the principles of sleep and how to structure coaching sessions with clients. The example questionnaires and assessments to use with clients are really useful too.

What was your impression of Nordic Fitness Education as a training provider?

They were great in terms of ease of access, flexibility, support and value for money – I would recommend them to others!

Take your PT offering and career to the next by training as a Sleep Recovery Specialist, or follow the link below:


Sleep loss and exercise performance – Episode 52 with Dr Michael Grandner


No doubt, you are well aware that a bad night’s sleep can leave you struggling for energy and the ability to remain alert. But did you know that sleep loss and exercise performance also have a strong connection! Even small amounts of lost sleep that become a regular habit can have a significant negative impact on your sporting performance, your exercise and, ultimately, your fitness results. Episode 52, with a global leader in the field sleep research, Dr Michael Grandner, will help unfold the details and give you actionable tips to help restore your sleep today!

Guest Biography

Dr. Michael Grandner is the Director of the Sleep and Health Research Program and Associate Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Psychology in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. He is Board-Certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr Grandner has 4 university degrees, obtaining his PhD in clinical psychology 2007. He has published 100’s of scientific articles and been cited 1000’s times across the scientific literature and is one of the leading voices in the field of sleep science. Several of his published journal articles directly address the impact of sleep, or lack of sleep, in relation to sporting performance. Dr Grandner served on the Olympic Mental health consensus committee where they published an official Olympic statement calling for greater awareness of mental health for elite athletes. He recently served as lead editor for an outstanding book titled, Sleep and Health (2019), which will serve as an influential text in the field of sleep for years to come. Find out more on Dr Grandner’s website.

Dr Michael Grandner

Episode content: Sleep loss and exercise performance

There was not enough time to ask everything we had hoped to cover in this fascinating dive into sleep loss and exercise, chronotype, and the impact on athletic and physical performance. Key topics and questions were:

  • 2:55  What led Dr Grandner into the field of sleep research
  • 6:50  Is chronotype and circadian phenotype the same thing?
  • 14.09  How can the listener determine their own chronotype?
  • 15:36  Do all individuals experience peak physical performance between 4-7pm?
  • 19:28  Is early morning exercise the least effective time to do exercise for all chronotypes?
  • 28:00  How can temperate regions work around the lack of early sunlight exposure during darker winter months?
  • 29:38  How can coaches and fitness trainers use the knowledge of chronotype variation to plan their client’s training schedules?
  • 33:44  The scope of sleep problems among elite athletic populations
  • 41:28  Does the science actually show that increasing the length of sleep has a positive impact on physical performance?
  • 46:16  Three evidence-based sleep tips that have been effective in demonstrating improvement for physical performance

Rate the show

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To enjoy more engaging expert interviews on the Fit to Succeed show, visit our podcast library.

Episode links

Re-timer light glasses

Online quiz to determine your own chronotype


Sleep problems impact exercise performance – Episode 42 with Dr Ian Dunican


Exercise and fitness is often a priority, but it often has to be squeezed into the busy lives we all lead, which may mean that physical activity, training, recreational or elite sport is more and more often happens in the evening and into the night. In this episode, we discuss with our excellent guest whether sleep problems can result from late exercise habits and whether sleep problems can have a negative impact on our fitness and performance.

Guest Biography

Dr Ian is the Director of Melius Consulting and Sleep4Performance and previously completed a PhD with the University of Western Australia (UWA), where he worked with elite sporting organisations/athletes to optimise performance. Ian is highly sought after with professional athletes, working with Olympic and elite athletes with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and professional teams in Super Rugby, Basketball, Australian Rules Football (AFL) and martial arts. He has also been featured on the health report on ABC radio, ABC radio national and numerous podcasts. Ian has appeared on ABC television, Channel 7, 9 and 10 in Australia. He was a TEDx Perth speaker in 2017.

Image result for ian dunican perth tedx
Dr Ian Dunican speaking TEDx Perth 2017

Episode content: Sleep problems

There really is some great topical discussion worth listening to that may influence your actions and behaviour around sleep and how it affects your day. The key content is:

  • 1:38: Importance of sleep for fitness and performance
  • 2:50 Why Dr Dunican chose to study the link between sleep and physical performance
  • 11:40 Understanding the physiology and staging of sleep during the night
  • 17:43 How a lack of deep sleep or REM sleep might impact exercise and performance
  • 24:15 Connection between stress physiology and sleep physiology
  • 32:23 Brief discussion on sleep and its influence on exercise recovery
  • 39:10 Impact of a lack of sleep on mental function, including depression
  • 44:20 Lack of sleep and mental toughness in relation to intense exercise

Connect with Ian on social media



Rate the show

If you enjoyed this episode, then please rate the show, give a short review, and share it with your friends so they can benefit from this free expert information. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or the video series on YouTube so you will receive each update immediately upon release.

For other great episodes and expert guests on the Fit to Succeed show, visit our full podcast library. 


Poor sleep? Coaching your chronotype – Episode 40 with Nick Littlehales


Chronic sleep loss is becoming a problem of epidemic proportions in modern society. Could your genetic chronotype have something to do with your ability, or inability, to get the needed hours of rest and recovery? If you find you regularly experience poor sleep then perhaps this discussion with sleep coach and author, Nick Littlehales will open your eyes to potential solutions.

Guest biography

Nick Littlehales is a pioneer in the field of sleep coaching within UK sport, with more than 2 decades of experience helping to deliver innovative and practical solutions to real-life problems around sleep. Nick’s fascinating journey to become the world’s leading Elite Sport Sleep Coach and his revolutionary R90 Technique is encapsulated in a book called  SLEEP.

Image result for nick littlehales
Elite Sport Sleep Coach: Nick Littlehales


Episode content: Poor sleep

Following a fascinating review of Nick’s journey, somewhat ahead of the curve, into the field of sleep coaching, we discuss in detail the importance of chronotype on our daily routine and preferences. There is plenty to enjoy and learn in this down to earth and easy listening discussion about resolving poor sleep issues. Key subjects include:

  • 1.43: Nick’s early motivation to work within the field of sleep coaching for athletes
  • 8.43: Modern science has revealed a large amount of definitive data about sleep and health
  • 10.06: The background to the book SLEEP and the subsequent rise in popularity
  • 14.02: The importance of sleep within modern-day sporting performance
  • 18.20: Standard sleeping conditions in modern high-level athletic accommodation
  • 21.58: What is chronotype?
  • 29.18: Managing individual variation in chronotype within team sport environments
  • 40.18: In relation to the time of day does chronotype influence the level of athletic performance?

Sleep course

If this topic interested you, why not become a Sleep Recovery Specialist with Nordic Fitness Education through our online course. Visit Sport Sleep Coach to get access to a 20% discount code and save €50 on the list price. Alternatively, contact us directly!

Connect with Nick on social media

Facebook @sportsleepcoachuk

Instagram @_sportsleepcoach

Twitter @sportsleepcoach

Buy Nick’s book about Sleep

Click the book cover to find Nick’s book on Amazon, available in paperback, e-book, or audio.

Image result for nick littlehales

Rate the show

If you enjoy this episode, then please rate the show, give a short review, and share it with your friends so they can benefit from this free expert information. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or the video series on YouTube so you will receive each update immediately upon release.

For other great episodes and expert guests on the Fit to Succeed show, visit our full podcast library.


Sleep recovery for health, exercise and weight loss – Episode 33 with Ben Pratt


Recently the creator of our Sleep Recovery Specialist course, Ben Pratt, was interviewed on the Pro-Fit podcast (episode 7) by Matt Robinson, a member of the Pro-Fit Personal Training team. With the permission of Pro-Fit we are featuring the video recording of the full interview as episode 33 of the Fit to Succeed podcast. Enjoy.

Guest biography

Ben Pratt has worked within the health and fitness industry since 1995 across a wide range of different roles. In 2003 he refocused his career towards education and has been teaching and developing coursework for fitness professionals ever since. Ben’s formal education includes a BSc. in Sports Science and an MSc. in Holistic Nutrition. His research and course development work has included more specialist fields such as obesity and diabetes, nutrition for physical performance, postural assessment and corrective exercise, suspension training, and the importance of sleep for exercise performance and recovery, weight loss and muscle growth. Ben is also the author of Nutrition’s Playground and the Complete Guide to Suspended Fitness Training.

Ben Pratt – leading fitness educator

Episode content: Sleep recovery

During this episode, a wide range of topics was discussed, including:

  • the importance of sleep to health and wellbeing
  • how sleep habits have changed during the last 3 decades
  • why correctly assessing sleep habits and behaviours is important
  • the powerful connection between chronic sleep loss and weight gain
  • fundamental principles to train circadian rhythm and establish effective sleep
  • ideas and strategies to help develop good sleep habits in young children
  • how to correctly utilise naps to help improve performance following periods of sleep loss

If you enjoy this episode, then please rate the show and share it with your friends so they can benefit from this free expert information. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. Please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify, or the video series on YouTube so you will be notified of each new episode immediately upon release. To enjoy more of our engaging expert interviews, please visit our podcast library.

We invite you to learn more about the Sleep Recovery Specialist certificate and to register on the course using the discount code SRSDROP20 to get 20% off the course price.

About Pro-Fit Personal Training

Pro-Fit PT is the leading personal training company in the north-west of England, founded by Graham Webb and Steve Butters back in 2002. The Pro-Fit team is now over 140 personal trainers strong, spread across a wide range of gym and fitness clubs across the region. Pro-Fit pride themselves on delivering high-level customer service with motivational coaching to help each client optimise their fitness and nutrition in the achievement of their goals.

Click here to learn more about the successful Pro-Fit Personal Training business.

Pro-fit Personal Training logo

Sleep chronotypes, training adjustments, trackers and more: How do you feel podcast

The author of our Sleep Recovery Specialist course, Ben Pratt, recently featured on the How Do You Feel Podcast, hosted by Casey Zavaleta, from Toronto Canada. Casey asked some great questions that led to a really worthwhile discussion that covered an interesting range of topics surrounding sleep chronotypes, fatigue, exercise and training, stress physiology and much more. Enjoy this audio interview:

In this episode, Ben and Casey discuss the following topics:

  • Why Ben prioritizes sleep above fitness and nutrition
  • How to improve your sleep quality
  • Sleep phases
  • When and how to change your training program if you haven’t slept well
  • How exercise can be detrimental if you haven’t slept enough
  • Stress and sleep
  • How hormones are affected by sleep
  • How sleep affects your appetite and body composition
  • Sleep chronotypes and how to determine yours
  • Differentiating your habits from your chronotype
  • How chronotype changes with age
  • What to do to feel better in the morning
  • Creating a nighttime routine
  • Mind stimulation at night
  • Whether supplemental melatonin is effective or not
  • Oversleeping
  • Repaying sleep debt on the weekend
  • Social jet lag
  • How to get better sleep as a shift worker
  • The accuracy of sleep trackers

Learn more about the Sleep Recovery Specialist Course:

  • Use Code sleepnow10 for a 10% discount on the course!

To enjoy more engaging expert video interviews, please visit our full podcast library.


37 fascinating facts about sleep and health

Sleep and Health, Michael Grandner PhD

Sleep and health book

A few months after the release of our short online course, the Sleep Recovery Specialist, Academic Press published a significant scientific reference book titled Sleep and Health, edited by Michael Grandner PhD. This naturally caught our attention on the subject as previously there has not really been a single book to refer to across such a wide range of important topics related to sleep and human health. We contacted Dr Grandner directly expressing our interest and as a result, we were pleased to be given the opportunity to review the full book. The book has 37 chapters, so it seemed only right to share 37 fascinating facts about sleep, one drawn from each chapter. Here is our book review.

It has been quite a mission to read this 512-page book, but the insights and information contained within have been fascinating! Essentially the book is a compilation of 37 different chapters that have been written by a combined total of 84 different expert authors from around the world. Something that became apparent in our research into the Sleep Recovery Specialist was the extensive volume of scientific research that has been completed on the subject of sleep. It can certainly be overwhelming to trawl through such vast levels of information. Sleep and Health does a superb job of pulling the existing research together into one helpful and well-organized resource. If sleep is a subject that you are keen to have a more in-depth understanding of, then you would do well to turn to the extensive, yet concise bank of knowledge found in Grandner’s book, Sleep and Health.

Asleep with a book - sleep and health

37 fascinating facts about sleep

To be honest, it would be impossible to try and cover the full scope of this book in a single blog post, so perhaps the best way to give you a flavour of what is available to learn is to share a single fact or principle found within each of the 37 individual chapters contained within the book. So, enjoy these 37 fascinating facts about sleep and health:

  1. Sleep need is defined by individual genetics and physiology and does not change after losing a night of sleep or oversleeping on the weekends.
  2. The age-adjusted estimated prevalence of insufficient sleep (≤6 h) was reported to be 35.1% of the US population.
  3. The sex differences in subjective sleep complaints are amplified with ageing, with middle-aged women demonstrating an increased risk of insomnia, poorer sleep quality, and more frequent awakenings, despite reporting earlier bedtimes and longer sleep duration compared to men.
  4. Approximately 80% of older adults aged 71 and older had obstructive sleep apnea and the incidence increased 2.2 times for each 10-year increase of age.
  5. Previous studies have shown associations between sleep-related beliefs and sleep health … Those who express generally positive attitudes about sleep are more likely to experience better quality sleep in general.
  6. Most existing data suggest more disruptive and less efficient sleep in lower social-economic status individuals.
  7. Those living in areas that are brighter at night have a later bedtime. Thus, city dwellers often sleep less than their rural counterparts as a result of these physical features of urban neighbourhoods.
  8. Human health can be negatively affected due to inhibited melatonin production because of exposure to bright light at night, especially green and blue spectrum light.
  1. There is a growing body of evidence that the mental engagement (and distraction) that electronic devices provide, may interfere with sleep.
  2. Sleep tracking devices now boast the capability to monitor physiologic data previously unavailable outside the clinic, including movement, respiration, body position, heart rate variability, and even EEG.
  3. There are two recommendations associated with exercise in the context of sleep hygiene: (i) exercise is good for sleep and should be encouraged but (ii) exercise too close to bedtime is detrimental to sleep and should be discouraged.
  4. Objective scientific validation is well behind evaluating sleep tracker technology at the pace in which new technology is introduced to the public. In general, the quality of the data and the consumer usability of the devices are in opposition.
  5. Younger adults were more likely to use mobile phones at night than older adults, and were more likely to have shorter sleep duration, and increased tiredness. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were associated with the use of mobile phones at night.
  6. People’s attitudes about health and their health behaviours do not exist in isolation; they effect, and are affected by, the attitudes and behaviours of others. The more two individuals interact, the greater role this social context will have on their health behaviours.
  7. Late sleepers exhibit a shorter sleep duration, consume more calories at dinner and after 8pm, consume more fast food and full-calorie soda, and have a higher BMI compared to normal sleepers.
  8. A large epidemiologic study on short sleep duration (sleep <6 h) showed an increase in the risk for elevated blood pressure by 8% in a population of 162,121 adult men and women free from major diseases including obesity.
  9. Individuals who report poor sleep quality have a 40% increased likelihood of having diabetes. This risk is comparable with family history, being overweight, and higher than physical inactivity.
  10. Several studies suggest that humans’ metabolic systems do not adapt to disrupted sleep-wake patterns.
  11. Tart cherries have been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms. This may be explained, in part, by the rise in circulating melatonin concentrations that occurs after daily ingestion of tart cherry juice.
Tart cherry juice may benefit sleep
  1. Multiple cross-sectional studies have reported that greater sedentary behaviour is associated with lower sleep efficiency, higher daytime sleepiness, and greater odds of having short sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and sleep problems.
  2. Binge drinking, of ≥5 standard alcoholic beverages, has been associated with insomnia symptoms in multiple populations, including adolescents, young adults, college students, older adults, Veterans, and firefighters.
  3. Current smokers accrued 24% more stage 1, light sleep, but a significantly lower percentage of stage 3 deep sleep than never smokers; this would indicate shallower, more disturbed sleep.
  4. Those who had a circadian preference for evening time were three times more likely to consume high dose caffeinated energy drinks and report daytime sleepiness compared to those with a preference for morning time.
  5. Accumulating evidence points to the role of short sleep in the development and progression of age-related diseases, many of which include alterations in immune functioning.
  6. Among the most reliable effects of sleep deprivation is the degradation of attention, especially vigilant attention.
  7. In one study, a single night without sleep was associated with fewer creative responses and greater difficulty letting go of unsuccessful strategies.
  8. Bedtime procrastination has been associated with lower overall self-control as well as poorer sleep habits and lower self-reported sleep duration.
  9. Up to 90% of individuals with Major Depressive Disorder experience insomnia. Those with insomnia, compared to those without, are twice as likely to develop depression. These rates have been shown to be 4 times greater in adolescents.
  10. Multiple studies to date suggest a shift toward a predominance of sympathetic (stress) modulation during both wake and night time periods in individuals with chronic insomnia, due to decreased parasympathetic (relaxation) activity that occurs during sleep.
  11. Both dietary weight loss and exercise have been shown to improve and even cure sleep apnea. Avoidance of sedating medications and abstinence from alcohol are encouraged in all patients with obstructive sleep apnea.
  12. Sleep restriction (1.5 h less than habitual sleep duration) in children for 1-week is associated with a significant increase in calorie intake per day as well as alterations to the hunger hormone, leptin.
  13. Among 8–12-year old children, shorter sleep durations are associated with heightened emotional responses, including sadness, anger, fear and disgust.
  14. Contrary to popular belief, adolescents require just as much sleep as they did when they were a few years younger with 9.25h of nightly sleep being considered optimal through the teen years.
  15. Demands from both the work domain and from the family domain can restrict the time available for sleep. Studies describe sleep as the “victim” that suffers due to time-based conflict between work and family roles.
  16. Sleep health is a multidimensional pattern of sleep-wakefulness, adapted to the individual, social, and environmental demands, that promotes physical and mental well-being.
  17. Disruptions during sleep due to sleep apnea can confer symptoms of daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and inability to sustain attention – these deficits are amplified under mundane conditions or while doing overlearned activities that require sustained attention, such as, for example, driving long distances.
  18. There is an epidemic of sleep disorders among police, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers. Efforts to improve sleep have the potential to vastly improve the safety, health, and performance of this vulnerable group, benefiting not only them but the public that they serve.

Find out more about sleep and health book

If you enjoyed these 37 fascinating facts about sleep, one from each of the chapters in Sleep and Health, and are really looking to study the deeper details on the subject, then please find out more about the book by visiting the publisher’s page at Academic Press, or by visiting the Amazon page. The purchase price is quite high, even for an academic book, although the level of knowledge and detail provided is probably a fair reward for the cost invested.

Find out more: Sleep Recovery Specialist course


Sleep is so integral to the goals of health and fitness professionals, both personally and for their clients, that we decided to create an online course targeted specifically to personal trainers, fitness instructors, strength coaches, sports specific trainers, and fitness professionals more broadly. This course has many, many more fascinating facts about sleep, health and exercise that makes it well worth completing! We invite you to find out more about our innovative online course, the Sleep Recovery Specialist.

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