A Night in the Life of Laura Kenny

3 min read

Last Modified 28 May 2021 First Added 14 April 2021

How important is a sleep regime when training or competing?

For me, it’s about trying to get as much sleep as possible, so we try to go to bed quite early, about 9 to 9.30pm. I can fall asleep anywhere, so I never really worry that I’m not going to fall asleep.

 

Do you set yourself a target of a certain number of hours sleep a night?

I would say 8 hours but our son, Albie, can throw a spanner in the works – if he wakes up in the night I’ll just go and get in with him.

 

How does travel impact on your sleep routine?

Jet lag can play a massive part in how well I sleep but in terms of being in a different hotel room I don’t really have an issue with that. I’m one of those people who can sleep on an aeroplane upright for 8 hours – that’s me, I’m just quite lucky.

 

It’s about trying to get as much sleep as possible.

 

Any tips for when travelling?

Just relax as much as possible and don’t overthink it. Sleep when you’re tired.

 

How do you find sleep (or lack of) affects performance?

I think it’s not the night before that has the biggest effect, it’s the night prior to that – the 48 hours before a competition. If I’ve had a bad night then and go on to have another bad night, that’s when it affects my performance – I can really feel lethargic and a bit low when I get on the start line.

 

How does sleep help with injury recovery?

It’s a massive part of it. Since breaking my shoulder, the physio keeps saying to me make sure you get a lot of sleep. It’s made me realise how important sleep is for healing.

 

Sleep is really important to help healing.

 

Do you nap?

I do, yes. I am a napper. I like it. I like to pinpoint an hour for a good nap because if you only have a 20-minute nap it can have a detrimental effect and you’re better off staying awake, but if you want to go into a deep sleep you need more than 40 minutes, so I like to aim for an hour.

 

What keeps you awake at night?

Not a lot really, although if I’m nervous before a race that can definitely keep me awake.

 

Do you get nervous?

Oh yes. I get really nervous but it’s happened so often that I’m used to it now. You know like sweaty palms, legs shaking, that’s me. But the minute I get on my bike it’s gone and I don’t think about it anymore.

 

When the alarm goes, do you leap out of bed or sneak in a snooze?

I’m a snoozer. I want to lie there for as long as possible. Albie gets us up anyway but if we set an alarm I want to snooze when it goes off.

 

When do you get to lie in?

I’d say I get a lie-in most days in that Jase will come and get Albie but it’s only until around eight o’clock, but that feels like a lie-in when you’ve been awake since six o’clock in the morning!

 

Learn more about Laura in this quick-fire interview post.