CRISTIANO RONALDO’S secret weapon is that he sleeps five times a day BEFORE bed and snoozes in the foetal position.
Sleep guru Nick Littlehales has lifted the lid on the amazing routines behind the Portuguese superstar’s success.
Littlehales landed one of his first gigs in football when he wrote to Sir Alex Ferguson and offered his services.
The Manchester United chief enlisted the help of the former bed company director to help with Gary Pallister’s back problem.
Twenty years on and Littlehales is now helping advise some of the biggest names in world sport.
Red Devils ace Ronaldo used to need a decent rest after Fergie let United’s stars kick the forward to toughen him up.
And the 36-year-old proved a sponge for sleep advice when then Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti invited Littlehales to come and work with Los Blancos.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was told to take five 90-minute sleeps a day and sleep on fresh sheets in the foetal position.
During his Madrid days, he was the only player awarded access to their customised sleeping pod at their training centre, meaning that the forward napped alone.
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Ronaldo also stops staring at screens an hour and a half before bed.
Research shows the blue light emitted keeps your brain ticking during sleep by suppressing sleep hormone melatonin.
Speaking to the Independent, Littlehales said: “Anyone who has ever worked with Ronaldo knows that if you have a discussion in the corner of the room, he will come over and ask what you are talking about.
“I was invited to Real Madrid when Carlo Ancelotti became manager.
“I was standing on the edge of the training pitch, talking to the Madrid staff, when Ronaldo ran over.
“He had been training all day and you would have expected him to run straight to the dressing room for a shower but he asked what we were discussing.
“He was interested in what I was trying to do because as an athlete he has always invested in himself.
The only thing he is concerned with is: does it work for him?
“From what I have learned from working with him, Ronaldo is not interested in fad diets, he is not interested in copying others.
“The only thing he is concerned with is: does it work for him?”
Former Chelsea ace Michael Essien once claimed he needed 14 hours of sleep a day to ensure he was at his powerful and energetic best in games.
And 15-time tennis Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras would insist on pristine new sheets every night and banned his wife from even touching him once he got into bed.
But Littlehales says the key to a good night is sleeping in a mattress with just TEN CENTIMETRES of foam. Aside from his work with football and rugby league clubs, Littlehales has also advised golden British cycling couple Laura and Jason Kenny.
He added: “Why, when you go camping and start sleeping on a thinner mattress, do you wake up feeling fantastic?
“I’ve been working with Team Sky for a number of years and during every Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a Espana, we go ahead to the hotels making sure the cyclists sleep on exactly the same mattress every night.
“All you need is ten centimetres of foam.”
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