Sleep Hygiene Tips from CrossFit's Sleep Queen Brooke Wells
We explore some of CrossFit "Sleep Queen" Brooke Wells' impeccable data on WHOOP, and share her best tips for getting a great night's sleep.
Brooke Wells is a 7-time CrossFit Games competitor who finished 5th overall in the 2020 finals. She took 3rd place in the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Semifinal in May and looks to land on the podium at this year’s Games. Over the years, Brooke has made it very clear that sleep is instrumental to her success. In fact, it’s even earned her the nickname “Sleep Queen.” Below we’ll share Brooke's tips and tricks for better sleep hygiene and break down some of her off-the-charts sleep data.
Brooke Wells’ Sleep Hygiene Tips
How does Brooke do it? What enables her to get such fantastic sleep on a regular basis? “I make sleep a huge priority,” she told us. “I am very strict and disciplined when it comes to going to bed.” WHOOP also plays a key role in empowering Brooke to optimize the quantity and quality of her sleep. “I use WHOOP for various different reasons, but the top three are for sleep, heart rate and HRV. The first thing I look at on my sleep data [each morning] is just the total number of hours. I always aim for about nine. Then I will look at the amounts of deep sleep and REM.”
“I typically try to keep to my regular sleep schedule of going to bed and waking up at the same time,” said Brooke (this improves the effectiveness of your sleep and maintains your circadian rhythm). “However, if I have an early morning planned or am out with friends at night, I’ll go to the WHOOP Sleep Planner and it will tell me what time I need to be in bed in order to get my full recommended amount of sleep. It helps keep me accountable!”
Learn What Impacts Your Sleep
“I try not to let my sleep affect what I do for training unless it was extremely poor, I just try to learn from it,” explained Brooke. “Did I eat before bed and maybe that caused me to not get as much deep sleep? Or maybe did I eat sugar or drink too much caffeine? I have used my WHOOP for over 5 years and have learned more and more through trial and error about what helps me sleep versus what doesn’t [by tracking behaviors in the Journal feature]. I have a routine that I have tweaked over the years, including sleep temperature, when to eat before bed, taking CBD, not drinking too much water, etc.”
Create an Ideal Sleep Environment
Here are 5 more tips from Brooke to improve your sleep hygiene:
- Start winding down two hours before you want to sleep
- Make sure you’re not looking at any blue light in bed from you phone or another screened device
- Get black-out curtains to ensure it is completely dark
- Use a white noise machine so other sounds don’t disrupt your sleep
- Make the temperature cool in your bedroom
100% Sleep Performances: Getting All the Sleep She Needs
In the two weeks prior to competing in her semifinals event, Brooke was able to achieve 100% sleep performance (the amount of sleep she got compared to what her body needed) every single night.
Two straight weeks of 100% WHOOP sleep performances from Brooke Wells (which makes For a somewhat boring graphic). In that time, her nightly average was 10 hours and 21 minutes in bed and 9:49 asleep, a sleep efficiency of 95%. Brooke also went to bed right around 10:30 pm and woke up a little before 9 am most days in that span, good for a sleep consistency (similar bed and wake times each day) of 93%. This run of outstanding nights of sleep also led to a string of green WHOOP recoveries. The day before the semifinals began, Brooke’s recovery was 95%.
In addition to perfect sleep, Brooke Wells had consistent green recoveries on WHOOP heading into her CrossFit Games semifinals.
On the final night prior to competition, Brooke spent 10:49 in bed, slept 9:47 (significantly more than her sleep need of 8:13) and got 2:18 of restorative REM sleep. Related: Brooke Wells Talks CrossFit Open and Shares Her WHOOP Data