May 28, 2020 By BridgeAthletic

The Importance of Sleep with Nick Lambe


In our latest episode of Powering Performance, we are joined by Nick Lambe, the online sleep coach. Tune in to hear about the importance of sleep for a healthy lifestyle, the correlation between sleep and training, and how to coach on the significance of sleep. 



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♦1:00- 3:30 Lambe discusses how his career as a sleep coach got started. As a strength and conditioning coach, he found a lot of  interest in the aspects of training that were happening outside of the gym such as heart rate variability, stress management, the autonomic nervous system, principle of nutrition, behavior change, and of course sleep. Lambe began focusing on sleep and shifted to focus more on education with workouts, seminars, and online courses 

"I was getting a lot of clients that seemed to be doing the right thing, but they weren't getting the results that I expected and that they expected." 


  6:00 - 8:21 Lambe explains one of the main difference in coaching athletes versus coaches around sleep is understanding how to present the important data. For coaches, it's very important for them to know about the different correlations between sleep and health, however, it's not always the best approach to lead with these statistics to the general population. Instead, bringing up this data can cause more stress and anxiety which may already be a main factor in an individuals sleep issues.


"Looking at sleep through the lens of coaching and behavior we have to make sure that we're not promoting more of that fear and anxiety."


9:30 -11:45 Lambe emphasizes the significance of sleep in relation to health and well being. He explains how sleep can make other aspects of life and training clients easier because it provides the needed rest to have more motivation or more energy. 


If you look at any facet of health and well being, sleep is going to have a correlation in some way. There isn't one aspect that would have such as a wide range as sleep. No matter what population you're working with, this is the box that has to be checked."

"I look at sleep as being the ultimate life enhancer."


12:05 - 14:05 Lambe gives us a sneak peak into his online coaching process. He will typically start with a discovery call to make sure he is the correct practitioner to work with this individual. Next, he will use assessment as you would in a typical coaching process to establish a baseline. Then, during his first session he will begin to discuss the individuals behaviors, as behaviors are the driver factor for chronic sleep issues. 

"It's similar to the coaching process with anything else, obviously just tailored specifically to sleep."


14:08 - 18:00 Lambe shares some of the main causes for sleep issues from a behavioral standpoint 

1. Predisposing factors. For example, an individual with higher levels of anxiety. 

2. Precipitating factors. This is based on events such as a loss, a new job, being sick.

3.Perpetuating factors. These are the factors that will typically create chronic sleep issues. Such as, the behaviors, thoughts and habits that the person has around sleep and their inability to sleep. 

"Sleep is not like exercise and nutrition in the sense that you can't will yourself to better sleep."


18:20 - 22:00  With COVID-19 there is a lot more stress and anxiety resulting in sleep issues for some individuals. Lambe expresses the need to balance out this stress with breathing exercises.  Another suggestion Lambe has is journaling and write down to-dos, worries and anxieties prior to going to sleep to clear up some head space. Additionally, sticking to a routine for sleep is very important to keep a healthy circadian rhythm. 

"One big variable that you can control, not only for right now in terms of keeping your sleep healthy and your client's sleep healthy, but also making sure you're set up to succeed long term is really trying to keep some level consistency with when you go to bed and when you wake up."


22:50 - 24:50 Similarly to when assigning an athlete a set of exercises, sleeping tips need to be individualized. 

"We wouldn't just give them a list of exercises and say 'here, have at it. We would actually coach them through that process, so I think we need to adopt a very similar mindset for sleep."


24:55 - 27:00  Often times we're just gauging good sleep based on duration rather than on quality and the other pillars for healthy sleeping. The subjective things to track to better determine sleep quality are 

1. How do you feel when you wake up? 

2. Do you need caffeine within that first hour? Do you need it mid day?

3. Do you feel you need a nap midday?

4. Does your energy level dip during the day? 

Looking at these overtime will give a good idea of someones overall sleep quality.  


27:22 -30:40 Lambe shares some insights on naps and when it individuals shouldn't nap. For individuals who do nap, Lambe lays out some key principles to ensure it is the best quality of sleep.


31:00 - 34:36 When considering bringing technology into the process for sleep it is important to make sure it is appropriate for the individual. If the individual is already having issues with sleep trackers may cause more anxiety. However, using a tracker for individuals who are consistently getting good sleep can help determine other factors that may affect their sleep. 

"People are much more aware of sleep. They're more aware of their sleep quality. They're more aware of how certain variables impact their sleep. It's becoming much more a part of their life, their health plan, and their performance plan."


36:20 -37:55 Lambe is working on a comprehensive coaching class to teach other coaches step by step how to coach sleep.  This class will be launching in July! Find more information here:


38:41 - Rapid fire! Learn Lambe's favorite athlete, what book he is reading, what advice he would give to his younger self, and his favorite part of his job. 


Connect with Nick Lambe

Instagram: @theonlinesleepcoach

facebook: theonlinesleepcoach



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Thanks to Nick Lambe for joining us! 

About the Author


At Bridge, we are all athletes and coaches first. As athletes, our team has experienced everything from riding the pine on JV, to winning NCAA championships, to competing in the Olympic Games. As coaches, we have helped countless athletes reach their full potential, winning everything from age group section championships to Olympic Gold Medals.

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