I love napping. And sleeping. And bedtime. Never more so than during bodybuilding prep when, frankly, the days just seem a little bit too long. (The rather trying extra bit seems to be between 3pm-6pm. What is the point of that part of the day? Unnecessary.)
So, I was delighted to receive a lovely bit of kit to review from the clever people at The Fine Bedding Co: their brand-new Smart Bedding set. It’s the UK’s first “smart recovery” bedding and has been specifically designed to improve sport performance by boosting recovery (after all, the period of time we’re asleep is the biggest stretch of recovery time in our day).
Sports Sleep Coach Nick Littlehales was commissioned by The Fine Bedding Company to develop the bedding (a pillow and duvet – various sizes) who knows how important consistent, good quality sleep is to sports performance. Nick told me:
“Sleep is the longest recovery period in any 24 hours and is essential to achieving optimum performance – whether you’re a top athlete or simply want to get the best out of your day. But it’s not just about how many hours we sleep for, it’s about how many productive cycles of sleep we actually get and managing these cycles so that we wake refreshed both mentally and physically. Like all sports related equipment, bedding needs to be under constant management and development to improve an athletes’ personal best performance.”
The aim of this bedding is to enhance the amount of deep sleep we can get each night. The Smart Bedding has proved so popular with athletes like that they take it with them to major competitions and use it instead of the hotel bedding. Nick works with elite sport events, including the London 2012 Olympic games, and sports squads and teams including the FA and England squads, leading premiership football clubs, Rugby Union, Rugby League, British Cycling, the Sky Pro cycling team, cricketers, triathletes, rowers and golfers.
What’s different about the Smart Bedding?
– Smartfil fibres for breathability and temperature control
– very light
– the pillows are really plump and keep their shape
– non allergenic
– designed for comfort
– 10.5 tog (I had to ask them about this bit!) – “There is always a lot of tog talk when duvets are being discussed – maintaining core body temperature is vital to quality sleep. We chose 10.5 as the best tog for this duvet to help regulate body temperature throughout the year. Anything more or less in tog relates to certain people’s individual needs – whether they experience night sweats or are particularly cold in the night.” (Now you know!)
My experience of using the Smart Bedding?
I do struggle with sleep when I’m dieting for bodybuilding comps. I don’t know why – hormones, I suspect. I tend to wake around 2am and stay awake for an hour or two. This affliction definitely lessened the very first night I used the Smart Bedding. I won’t lie – it hasn’t stopped completely – but it is much, much better. The bedding feels amazing, really light and soft, but keeps me a nice temperature. The pillow is very comfy. In short, yes I’d recommend it. For the price, I think it’s definitely worth a try if you do any kind of sport, or just know how important sleep is to a healthier, more stress-free lifestyle.
I’ll leave you with
Nick Littlehales’s Top 3 Smart Recovery Tips
1 Check your mattress, pillow and bedding is giving the right support. “Your mattress should take your body shape and weight easily – almost as if you don’t need a pillow,” says Nick. “Get someone to analyse you lying on the bare mattress, in a foetal position on your non-dominant side (so if you’re right handed, lie on your left side). This is the natural sleeping position. If there is a clear gap of five centimetres or more between your head and mattress, or you feel your head dropping on to the mattress, then it could be too firm. Head raised out of line? The mattress may be too soft.”
2 Choose bedding that’s breathable, comfortable and sleep inducing. Nick makes up “sleep kits” for athletes with contouring, pressure sensitive mattress toppers, linen and climate control duvets and pillows from The Fine Bedding Company.
3 Think of sleep in terms of 90-minute cycles rather than hours. During each 90-minute cycle, the body goes through five stages essential to overall recovery. These include “light sleep”, “deep sleep” and “REM sleep” (when we dream).
Thank you, Smart Bedding people! What a lovely thing to receive. :)
You can find out more about the Smart Bedding sets online here at The Fine Bedding Co, or check them out on Facebook or Fine Bedding Co on Twitter. Sport Sleep Coach Nick is on Facebook and Twitter, too.
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.