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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,720 ratings  ·  177 reviews

Proven solutions for better nights, from the 'sleep guru' to sports stars including Cristiano Ronaldo
One third of our lives are spent trying to sleep. Most us have disturbed, restless nights and rely on a cocktail of caffeine and sugar to drag us through the day. Yet the hours we spend in bed shape our mood, motivation and decision-making skills - defining our performance

Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published October 27th 2016 by Penguin Life
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,720 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Start your review of Sleep: The Myth of 8 Hours, the Power of Naps... and the New Plan to Recharge Your Body and Mind
Tõnu Vahtra
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maximizing rest while optimizing sleeping time. After this book I ordered a 10 000 LUX daylight lamp for my office desk, fixed alarm clock to 6AM 7 times a week (might move to earlier in coming weeks) and started calculating time for going to sleep in 90-minute cycles. Also found out what the most optimal sleeping position is (on the non-dominant side) and how to design the most optimal sleeping environment. Also found out why mobile phones have "night mode" and why it's actually scientifically ...more
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Initial thoughts: A few days ago, I read The Sleep Solution by W. Chris Winter. In his book, Winter maintained that locking ourselves down to 90-minute sleep cycles isn't always efficient and might even rob us of that extra hour of sleep we need, increasing our tiredness during the day. Whose advice then, should I follow? Nick Littlehales, the author of this book, Sleep, or Winter, who's a neurologist? Both authors research sleep but I'm more inclined to trust the the tra
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up, my dad was always a napper. He'd eat lunch and then sleep for a bit before going back to work. My grandfather was the same. I'm now in my mid 30s, and although I've long disdained naps, I found myself thinking a month or so ago that maybe I should start toying with them. So when this book came up in a search (for a different book on a different topic altogether), I figured I'd give a go.

Littlehales is a sleep coach for high performing athletes. There are some useful concepts in his b
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Nick Littlehales on Dr. Rangan Chatterjee's wonderful Feel Better Live More podcast, it was this which convinced me to read this book.

As I age I have found it increasingly hard to stay asleep. I nod off within 10 minutes however tend to wake up sometime between 3 and 5 am and struggle to get back to sleep. Consequently I have developed a keen interest in books and advice about sleep and have read a few books on the subject in the last few weeks.

Nick Littlehales is not a scientist, he's
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I had definitely never taken the time to think about sleep or how I can strategically use sleep. For this, I give the author credit. There are good reminders of things we know (shouldn't play with devices before we sleep, and we should feel a little guilty that we look at them first thing, with squinty, tired morning eyes!) However, much of the material felt repetitive. At one point I turned to my husband and said "This could have been a pamphlet."

It's not a page-turner, but it's interesting en
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on Audible. Nick Littlehales gives top notch tips on how to improve your sleep, and he has the credentials and experience to back it up.

I usually have trouble sleeping 2-3 nights per work week, which I knew was really effecting my performance. After listening to this book my sleep habits immediately started to change and I sleep so much better now. More importantly my whole attitude towards sleep has changed and I don't get stressed out if I can't sleep, don't have the t
I think 3 stars is a little but too much for this book but I'd feel bad giving it 2... Parts of this book read like a advertising brochure - there should be a warning on the cover that the reader will be subjected to advertising! Other than that there was a bunch of good advice on how to sleep better, although hardly innovative.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best book on sleep I have ever read. As a chronic horrible sleeper, there are some changes that will be made for me. This book also changed how I view sleep which has made me feel more relaxed about my weird sleep.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of this can be a tough pill to swallow, per say. Especially if we've gotten use to what we think of as sleep and recovery. Good to read and decide when to slowly integrate these techniques for yourself.
Jessica Gillies
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, sport
An interesting book with some practical tips that I'll probably try to implement at some point. The rhythm of the audio narration was a little odd, as other reviewers have mentioned, but I set it to 1.6x speed and found it better.

I would recommend this book as a quick read for someone who wants to improve their sleep.
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okayyy, wow, I've learned so much about my own sleep, I can't believe it. Everyone should read this book and finally learn how to sleep better.
Eduardo Quesada
Interesting and good for geting a better live in general.
Wen Hao 9
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very practical, but the book itself is very repetitive in subject.
Huda Al-Anbar purchase
I usually like nonfiction audiobooks that are narrated by the author.
The issue with this one is his voice, his tone, and all the athlete name dropping which I could not care less about.

The book did offer some interesting concepts, the 90 minute sleep cycles, the correct size and mattress sizes for couples, and cooler temperatures for bedrooms.

Some of what was said is well known information, no drinks before bed, complete darkness equals better sleep, get sun in the mornin
Sep 12, 2018 added it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
A reframing of sleep needs to cycles one can fit at different points of the day + week to ensure adequate recovery. Adding a pre-sleep and post-sleep routine that I'm pretty into - I like a good hour to wake up even if technically I'm a morning person. A criticism of modern mattress assumptions and the "ideal" sleeping posture. I'm still a little disappointed with the "napping with your eyes open" it just sounds like zoning out.
Kate Henderson
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I’m honest I didn’t really think I would like this but it ended up being really fascinating! It comes from the world of sport but there is still a lot you can get from it if you’re not a pro athlete. Listened to on audible and found the narrator really clear and really enthusiastic. Def think everyone will get something from this.
Wilde Sky
This book gives tips for getting enough sleep.

I found some of the points interesting (such as the 90 minute sleep pattern) but overall it was a bit vague / repetitive / long winded for me and a lot of the points (I think) I’ve heard before.
Ciara H
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Not my cup of tea.
I work in a sleep laboratory and I didn't like the definitive nature of the book.
Roderick Hutchison
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
There are definitely useful tips for the sleep deprived,but God his writing style grates
Kate Shepherd
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
An interesting book on sleep but sadly not very helpful for the shift workers amongst us. I felt some points were overemphasized and other important points were under emphasized unfortunately.
Lee Penney
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sleep. We all do it, but no one teaches us how. We’re all expected to know.

I’ve picked up various tips and tricks, both based on my own trial and error, and the occasional article I’ve skimmed, but I’ve never set about breaking it down. I know what I prefer and assume that’s right, for me at least.

Considering how much of an impact it can have on our health (physical and mental) and performance, it’s probably long past time we all took a bit more of an analytical look.

Which is where this book com
Laura Alonso
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nice book on sleep.

The author wants his readers/listeners to follow the R90 program (Recovery in 90 minutes) he has created. The basis for his program is the idea that sleep works on 90min cycles. I think he says the body goes through all 5 stages of sleep in that amount of time ("under clinical conditions"). So sleep cycles make up your sleep, and people should see how many cycles/night do they need to feel rested - if it's 3 cycles/night (4.5hrs) so 21 cycles/week then do that. He recommends
Maksym Lysak
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
After this book I set up my alarm clock to 6:30AM 7 times a week (weekends are still tough to follow this routine for me though) and once again confirmed for myself the tactic to calculate time for going to sleep in 90-minute cycles. It was a discovery that the most optimal sleeping position is foetal on your non-dominant side.
Also, trying to doing my best
a) avoiding gadgets before sleep (blue light is producing hormone melatonin which makes it more difficult to fall asleep. it's better to have
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
​Nick Littlehales wrote the most helpful advice I’ve ever read about sleeping. I have literally spent 15 years battling with problems falling asleep, getting quality, unbroken sleep and battled with snoozing and groggy mornings.

His pre- and post sleep routine that I adhere to most nights a week now noticeably improve my mood and calmness in the evenings and mornings. I am more relaxed getting into work and feel less rushed that I give myself more time to process thoughts without a phone.
I have r
Angela Watt
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is a quick but informative and beneficial read from Nick Littlehales who acts as a sleep coach to athletes wanting to ensure top performance in their field. It's particularly useful if you're someone like me who is experiencing difficulties sleeping. I slept well for 50 years and then suddenly when the menopause hit, I had some real issues. This book gives you some strategies to help you and also helps you to see things from a different perspective in relation to the 90 minute cycles. It's ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Do you like to sleep? It's still likely you're doing it wrong.
Do you like your bed? It's probably not the correct one for you.

The author is a sleep coach for the many sports teams in England and beyond, helping them to eke out as much performance as possible through better sleep. And who couldn't use instruction on obtaining better sleep?

Interesting topic. The author presents some new ways to think about sleep and how to do it better. I'm not sure I agree with everything, but some things I've
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think the best takeaway I took from this was that although I am somewhat ambidextrous it is wiser to sleep on my right due to being stronger with my left hand. I am wary to give this more stars with its "size matters" note, which sounds to me like a salesperson for a mattress company told him to write it into his manuscript.
I have had a queen-size mattress for all this time and that seems adequate enough for my purposes...

As far as my own sleep patterns go: hahaha. What sleep patterns?
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
26. Sleep. The myth of 8 hours, the power of naps.. and the new plan to recharge your body and mind • Nick Littlehales // I love my sleep so I was so excited to read this! Whilst very heavily referencing sport and athletes sleep journeys.. the main takeaways still apply 👏 as a shift worker some of this may be slightly harder to adapt to everyday life.. however I’m very keen to start applying a bit more of a structured pre/post sleep approach and limit tech use/blue light in these time frames ☺️ ...more
Remy Sharp
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
In general, the concepts and ideas are pretty solid. A lot of common sense that revolves around using sunlight to help with sleep patterns. Somehow I personally experienced a similar sleeping pattern (sticking to a regular alarm, getting up quickly, getting sunlight) and it worked incredibly well for me for 2 years (until I broke the pattern).

The body of the book though is littered with how the author works with top sports teams, Manchester United, Man City, Arsenal, etc - top cyclists etc. I wa
Sehar Moughal
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gem of a book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is not getting the 'recommended' eight hours a night. I have been trialling the strategies in the book for a few days now and I feel a lot more sane. Littlehales has persuaded me to change the way I look at sleep, be okay with the quality/quantity based on R90 rule. Naps should be guilt free and refreshing. Importance of day light, 90-min pre and post sleep. Accept the number of cycles you want in a week and commit to them. The method is a lif ...more
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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
55 likes · 17 comments
“Think of sleep in ninety-minute cycles, not hours.” 2 likes
“In fact, setting a constant wake time is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal when looking to improve the quality of our recovery. Our bodies love it, with our circadian rhythms, set by the rise and fall of the sun, working around a consistent point, and our minds love it, because through this constant wake time we can build the confidence to be more flexible in other aspects of our lives.” 1 likes
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