Sleep Like Cristiano, Perform Like Ronaldo

ronaldo sleep performance
With Expert Insights From

OK, maybe not quite like Ronaldo but we can all dream can’t we? (pun intended)

Seriously though, there is some science behind how we could all perform better by sleeping like the man who is, without question, one of the greatest athletes of our time.

I mean, is he for real? Or has the combination of too much export strength lager and too much heading a football in my younger days blurred the lines between FIFA22 and real life.

The man has now scored nearly 800 goals in his 900-odd matches. That’s roughly a goal-a-game for 15 years. Let’s just take a moment to drink that in…

A goal. A game. For 15 years.

Anyone who scores a goal-a-game for 15 games this season will have a £60… 70… maybe £100 million price tag on their heads!

Once in a lifetime stats.

To put it in context, the two heir-apparents to the throne that Ronaldo has shared with Lionel Messi this last 15 years or so – Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe – are 21 and 22 respectively.

Both are fabulous young talents, who would instantly improve any team in the world. And will no doubt command transfer fees that surpass the barely fathomable £200 million mark.

In order to match Ronaldo’s goal tally (so far, by the way…) Haaland needs to score 44 a season until he’s 35. Mbappe 48.

Good luck with that, boys.

How Ronaldo does it.

So what’s his secret, eh?

Truth is, there isn’t one. He’s a living example of someone who trains hard, lives well and is fxxking brilliant.

BUT… he does do one thing in common with other elite sports stars who seem to defy the laws of nature, physics and time.

Sleep. A lot.

Some say he has five 90-minute naps a day.

Others say it’s a solid nine at night.

Others still suggest a bit of both.

But everyone agrees he likes to get his head down.

So much so, that he moved out of his palatial Cheshire mansion just weeks after his arrival back at Manchester United. Because the surrounding countryside was keeping him awake!

And like everything Cristiano does – there is some solid logic behind it.

Sleep deeper to run faster for longer.

A Stanford University study of college football players [1] found that players who slept for ten hours or more per night, over an eight-week period reported:

  • Quicker sprint times
  • Improved stamina
  • Less daytime fatigue

Overall performance improved too. Because being well rested also helps athletes think, react and remember things better. Sleep even improves your tekkers.

Another Stanford University School of Medicine research study [2][3] concluded improved performance in basketball players with optimal sleep, but that’s a whole different ball game (Ronaldo could probably play that in his sleep too!)

A process of ‘consolidation’ takes place during quality sleep, which helps you ‘practise’ new skills you have learned while awake.

So the next time you see Ronnie pull a quadruple-stepover-double-Cruyff-turn-rabona-chop – while giving the full-back the ‘eyes’ – you’ll know he had an early night.

And he’s not the only one…

Sleep like a GOAT.

ronaldo sleep roger federer

Evergreen tennis GOAT Roger Federer and baller LeBron James slumber their way to 12 hours each night. NFL heavy hitter catches a solid 11 hours of zzzzzs on game days.

Sprint king Usain Bolt used to prep for his sub-10 seconds work on the 100m track with a 10+ hours in the sack.

And Ryder Cup hero Bryson DeChambeau considers 9-10 hours a night as par for the course, before a tournament of 400-yard drives.

Don’t lose, snooze.

Lifters, swimmers, long distance runners all associate better performance and quicker recovery with good sleep patterns. Level on the podium of importance with diet and exercise.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of making you look younger and live longer… boosting your brainpower and cognitive skills… protecting you against cancers and heart disease… enhancing your sex life… making you less anxious, less depressed and feel happier…

So we’re all agreed. Sleep is good. And Lots of it is better.

But what if we struggle with sleep? Many do.

ronaldo sleep struggle with sleep

Regardless of sport, the stress of kids, work and life in general can make the idea of 7+ hours of restful, rejuvenating sleep seem like a blissful fantasy.

Sleeping pills aren’t the answer. (Ask sadly departed icons like Heath Ledger. Or Marilyn Monroe. Or… oh, I dunno. Someone else must’ve OD’d more recently. They’re just bad, okay?)

The truth is, you can’t trick nature. The key to achieving regular, quality sleep patterns over a long-term period is working with your body, not against it.

Sleep deeper for longer and wake up fresher.

ronaldo sleep wake up refreshed

Supplements work. And are a staple of all smart athletes’ armoury nowadays. But go natural. Go high quality. And stim-free – so there are no groggy side effects.

You’re not looking for something that will knock you out. But something that will soothe muscles and calm nerves. Helping to usher in that deep sleep phase that is crucial for muscle repair and cell regeneration.

Something like this… Performance Lab Sleep. Not cheap, but you pay for quality.

And you’ll wake up bright eyed, bushy tailed. And maybe ready to score a goal-a-game for the next 15 years.

So if you’re reading this Erling… or Kylian… You’re welcome.

References (may also help the onset of sleep...)

1. Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance of collegiate football players
American Academy of Sleep Medicine

2. Snooze you win? It’s true for achieving hoop dreams, says study
American Academy of Sleep Medicine

3. The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players
American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Disclaimer & disclosure: With any supplement we recommend consulting with your doctor or pharmacist before use. Ideally, we would all source our nutrition needs from a well-balanced real whole-food diet but, where this isn’t possible, high-quality supplements can provide an ‘insurance policy’ to ensure we maintain optimum nutrient levels. We may receive a referral commission from carefully curated brands we link to but always strive to provide fair and evidence-based discussion around any products we feature.

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