The secret to a fitter, faster GSR race time

editorial image
Promoted by Leesa Mattresses

Ready, steady… sleep! Portsmouth’s Great South Run is on the horizon – and the best preparation could be a good night’s kip.

Whether you’re an Olympic champion trying to shave a millisecond off your 100m sprint, or just trying to nail a ‘PB’ at the local park run, when it comes to sport, we’re all looking to continually better ourselves.

And with the Great South Run on the horizon, crossing the line, regardless of whether it’s the 5k or 16k challenge, in the best shape possible is on many Portsmouth runners’ minds.

Training for sleep

Many leading athletes and sports teams now employ a sleep coach or consultant to help ensure they get the best possible sleep, so their bodies can repair and be revived before the hit the track, pitch or field.

While not all Great South Run competitors can contemplate the services of a private sleep coach, keeping a sleep record, and preparing carefully for a good night’s rest by eating well and winding down with a good book, warm bath and comforting drink, could still give them the competitive edge.

How much is enough?

Some elite athletes are said to swear by as much as 10 hours sleep a night, while the average for most of us is between seven and eight hours.

Sleep is vital to help repair tired muscles – important when we’re working hard on the road, at the gym, track or pool.

It stands to reason good sleep means we’re rested and feeling energised for whatever sport or workout we’re planning the next day.

Get a champion night’s sleep

Prepare for your run, workout or even your round of golf by getting the sleep of champions.

1. Stay well hydrated throughout the evening and avoid alcohol which can lead to a restless night.

2. Ensure your bedroom is dark and peaceful. Avoid pre-bed screen time, opt instead for reading, or listening to an audio book.

3. Choose a great mattress. Take up the offer of trying an award-winning Leesa mattress for 100 days in your own home.

Winning sleep: sorted

A great mattress could give you a winning edge when it comes to rest.

The Leesa mattress is the official mattress of rugby union side Sale Sharks. The Leesa Mattress is used by the majority of the first team and youth team.

Head of Sports Science at Sale Sharks, Rick Swaby advises “Sleep is important for its physiological and psychological restorative effects and is one of the most effective recovery activities. It is vital the athlete creates an environment to give them the best night’s sleep possible. They should consider the quality of mattress they sleep on as this can have an effect on the quality of their sleep.”

The Leesa mattress was launched in the UK in 2015, to provide consumers with a better way to buy a mattress. The co-founders of the company believed that you should choose your next mattress based on how well you sleep on it – not based on 5 minutes sitting on it in a brightly lit store. The Leesa mattress was one of the first brands in the UK to offer a 100-night risk-free sleep trial.

The award winning Leesa mattress is made in the UK, and features a unique combination of three premium foam layers that adapt to your body, providing optimum support and comfort for all body shapes, sleeping styles and firmness preferences.

There’s a 15cm dense core support layer at the base of the mattress that supports the body without feeling too firm; a 5cm memory foam middle layer for contouring and pressure relief and a 5cm Avena® foam top layer that provides airflow for a cooler night's sleep and enough bounce for freedom of movement

The Leesa mattress currently has over 12,000 5-star reviews worldwide and has been awarded a string of accreditations, including Which? Best Buy, Men’s Health Lab approval and Good Housekeeping Institute approval.

Leesa also operate a One-Ten social impact programme, which donates one mattress for every ten sold, supporting organisations serving homeless and at-risk men, women and children.

Find out more about the Leesa mattress and the Leesa One-Ten programme at