Decoding Sleep: How to Clean up Your Sleep Hygiene- Luke Gupta

Sleep Illiteracy? Sleep Education? Sleep Management? Is it really a big deal? We’ve all been sleeping our entire lives, but do we even think about sleep correctly?

Luke Gupta graduated from the University of Bath with a B.Sc in Sport and Exercise Science and completed an M.Sc in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University. Currently, Luke is conducting a part-time PhD Studentship into Sleep and Athletic Performance in collaboration with the English Institute of Sport.

He worked with some of the Rio Olympians across many different sports on their sleep habits. In this episode, Luke shares with us what his research and experience has shown him about how the function and significance of sleep in an athlete’s life.

The way Luke talks about ‘sleep’, it sounds like an actual entity with it’s own set of rules.

For those of us who have spent many nights waiting anxiously for sleep to overtake our racing minds, he may not be far off. How can people who have difficulty falling asleep learn these rules and thus manipulate them to our advantage?

Listen as Luke decodes the inner workings of sleep, confronts myths that have permeated our ‘understanding’ of sleep and gives us all practical methods for getting all the sleep we’ll ever need.

Decoding Sleep: How to Clean up Your Sleep Hygiene- Luke Gupta

Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • The roles our genetic and early adolescent personality traits play in determining the sports we excel in.
  • Is 8 hours a night really the magic number for sleep for everyone?
  • Does going to bed early equate to more rest?
  • How Circadian Rhythms affect our sleep habits.
  • Why your bed should not be a multitasker.
  • Internal vs. External sleep aids
  • Performance vs. well-being
  • Is it possible to front-load sleep before a race?

Questions Luke is asked:

3:30 How did you get into your current field and position?

6:05 Has your experience reaffirmed that this is the area you want to focus on?

6:51 What does your job look like? What are some of your favorite parts of working with athletes regarding sleep and performance?

9:05 How did you help the Rio Olympians optimize their sleep for their competitions?

11:12 What differences did you see between the different types of sports / athletes?

15:01 Does all this apply to recreational athletes as well as Elite Athletes?

17:05 What are some common myths about sleep and can you debunk them?

18:40 How does anyone know what their optimal amount of sleep is?

22:45 What if someone gets up unusually early, say for a 4:00 a.m. flight; what should they do to catch back up on their sleep?

24:45 Other myths you’d like to bust?

26:46 What has your researched uncovered about how sleep affects changes to performance, motivation and physiology?

31:12 What are some of the things that you’ve found help people fall asleep?

34:17 If someone’s mind won’t shut down when they’re trying to fall asleep, what should they do?

38:13 What are the pros and cons of using sleep aids?

43:18 Other suggested sleep aids or behavioral sleep aids?

45:04 How can we avoid psyching ourselves out while waiting to fall asleep?

47:17 Based on your research, how close is the correlation to sleep and performance?

50:53 What should someone do to manage anxiety the night before a race?

54:03 Do you have any planned research we can keep up to date with?

58:40 The Final Kick Round

Quotes by Luke:

“My research recently found that there’s big differences between sports and how the athletes sleep and perceive sleep.”

“Listen to your body.”

“Sleep is quite an automated process in that if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep one night, the next night’s sleep will, more likely than not, be that much better given the opportunity. That’s just how sleep works.”

“You can’t just say if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep you’re going to perform poorly.”

“The way sleep works is: the longer you stay awake, the sleepier you feel.”

“When you try to do anything with sleep, that’s when it tends to go wrong.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

Want more awesome interviews and advice?
Subscribe to our iTunes channel

[bctt tweet=”Sleep and running performance, interesting podcast on what the research shows” username=”Runners_Connect”]

Mentioned in this podcast:

Dr. James Maas on Run To The Top podcast

Dr. James Maas Pillow – Bed Bath & Beyond

English Institute of Sport

Consumer Reports – Blue Blocking Glasses

UVEX Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Luke’s research published in Sports Medicine journal

Follow Luke On Twitter

Book: Ultramarathon Man

Polar RC3 GPS Watch

Tina’s experience with sleep therapist

RunnersConnect Extra Kick Daily Podcast

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

The best way you can show your support of the show is to share this podcast with your family and friends and share it on your Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media channel you use.

If more people who know about the podcast and download the episodes, it means I can reach out to and get through to the top running influencers, to bring them on and share their advice, which hopefully makes the show even more enjoyable for you!

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting Run to the Top

Enter to win a FREE 6-Pack of Perfect Amino from BodyHealth

body health

Use coupon code TINA for 10% off at


Have a running friend who would love this? Share it...

Connect with Jeff Gaudette on Google+

One Response on “Decoding Sleep: How to Clean up Your Sleep Hygiene- Luke Gupta

  1. Hi just listened to this weeks podcast with Evie. I am glad to hear you are coming to Oz to run the GCAM. I have run this several times and it is a great event, you should have a blast.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Adding new comments is only available for RunnersConnect Insider members.

Already a member? Login here Want to become an Insider for free?.Register here