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The importance of sleep (by Michael Hansen, DPT)

by jessicag, June 13, 2018

Hey all! I just finished listening to one of my weekly podcasts and this particular episode was about sleep. The name of the podcast is the “Physical Preparation Podcast” by Mike Robertson. He shares a lot of information about several topics including general health and wellness, coaching, exercise and nutrition. I found this specific episode on sleep to be very informative and very practical. I just wanted to share some of his thoughts and ideas in the podcast, hope it helps you enjoy more sleep!


  • Quantity:
    • The myth of 8 hours of sleep a night is not accurate
    • Instead, consider sleeping in 90 minute sleep cycles, this allows us to complete full sleep cycle and not force ourselves to wake up while we are in deep REM sleep.
    • Aim for an average of 5-6 sleep cycles per night
    • “Reverse engineer” when your bedtime should be. Example: if you want to wake up at 6 am and want to get 6 full sleep cycles (9 hours) then your bedtime should be at 9pm.
    • Athletes and those very active individuals will require additional sleep cycles to help facilitate muscle recovery.


  • Quality:
    • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon (coffee, soda, energy drinks) excessive consumption may decrease quality of sleep.
    • The darker the environment the better (use of black out shades)
    • Eliminate ambient light (TV screens, street lights, nightlights, any tiny lights from other electronics)
    • The cooler the environment the better
    • Background, or white noise can help to drown out environmental noise or extreme silence (White noise APPS)


  • Pre-sleep Routine:
    • “Sleep Hygiene”
    • Begins 1 sleep cycle before actually going to bed
    • Avoid use of screens (TV, iPhone, iPad, video games)
    • Help begin relaxation with warm shower
    • Mike attributes pre-sleep routine to pre-game routine that athletes use
    • Stretching or meditation for 5-15 minutes, focus on breathing for relaxation
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques – more information
    • Brain dump – before bed write down everything going through your head so you don’t lay in bed thinking about the previous or next days events. Gives you a chance to empty your head of worries, stresses of anything that might keep you awake at night


This is just a quick summary of the most important topics covered in this podcast. I am a huge believer in the 90 minute sleep cycle and aim for 7.5 hours of sleep per night. I don’t always achieve it and may only get 6 hours or less some nights, but my goal is to average 7.5 hours (or 5 sleep cycles) over the corse of the whole week in order to promote proper healing and recovery. Below is a link to the full podcast if you want to listen to it all. Let me know what you think and if you have any other tips to help you sleep. Thanks for reading! Stay well and sleep well!



Original Podcast: