Walkinstown’s Killian Callaghan was crowned world champion in the Under-21 Enduro World Series in 2017. The Dublin man raced consistently in each of the rounds during the series with a first place in Aspen and second in Whistler, Canada, securing the overall series lead, leaving him unbeatable going into the final round in Italy in 2017. Enduro is one of the fastest-growing strands of cycling in Ireland, consisting of timed downhill sections and untimed uphills. The winner of an enduro race is the person with the fastest combined times at the end of the day.
Analysis & Data using
the Readiband Sleep monitor.
We analysed data on sleep and activity levels
over two distinctive periods. We first assessed
sleep patterns over the course of a week
under normal circumstances. After consulting
with Ava, the team in DKI helped her choose
a mattress suitable for her specific needs. Ava
then had her sleep analysed after receiving
her new mattress and we noted any significant
changes in her patterns.
Niall Ronan Selected
Premier 5000 Mattress
for mattress details
27th March – 2nd April
Average Sleep Quantity: 6.6
Sleep Quality Rating: 5/10
Sleep Latency: 35min
After Receiving Mattress
02nd April – 9th April
Average Sleep Quantity: 6.8
Sleep Quality Rating: 8/10
Sleep Latency: 21min
Did Niall Ronan Sleep Improved?
Sleep Quality: Killian’s sleep quality averaged at 6.4 hours before receiving the mattress and only slightly improved to 6.8 hours after receiving the mattress. However, he rated his sleep quality a lot better after receiving the mattress.
Wake Episodes: After receiving the mattress, graph 2 shows that he experienced fewer wake episodes than before. The reduced wake episodes would contribute to an improved sleep quality explaining why he rated his sleep quality higher post-intervention.
Sleep Latency: There was a 14-minute improvement in sleep latency after receiving the mattress. This is beneficial as it can help reduce bad sleeping habits like picking up a phone because you cannot sleep and allows for more quality repair time each night.
Recommendations: Killian is still not achieving the recommended sleep guidelines of 7.5 hours per night. Killian is a professional athlete, so his body would be under strenuous stress during training periods which would require the right amount of recovery time. The results did show that there was a slight improvement in his sleep quality, other sleep hygiene practices could be looked at to improve sleep quality and duration.
All athletes need good sleep hygiene, which includes a good sleep environment and a good sleep routine. Sleeping settings should be pleasant, cool, dark, free of technological devices, and with little ambient noise or disturbance. Athletes should establish consistent sleep and wake patterns to the degree that their training and competition schedules allow and include a 30-to 60-minute period of quiet relaxation before bedtime to aid sleep initiation.
How did you get into professional Sport?
I was kind of born into it. My full family were all into bikes. My grandad had a bike shop and my grandmother was the first Irish woman to go 100 mph on a motorbike! My Dad was a professional BMX rider and also done motorbike trials. I started doing motorbike trials when I was 11 and I’m 10 times Irish Motorbike Trials Champion. When I was 16 or 17 I started mountain biking because it looked like great craic. BMX had lots of jumps, trials were slower with lots of obstacles and mountain biking was the perfect mix of everything. I was National Champion, second at European Championships, and U21 World Champion.
What are your key preparations for events or competitions?
From about the age of 5, my Dad used to make us get all our gear ready the night before an event. So, we’d have to pile up all our gear on our gear bag and have everything in the right compartment. So, you’d get up in the morning and put on your gear and have your gear bag ready. We’d always eat pasta the night before an event. On the day of the event, my Dad would give us electrolytes and sliced up oranges. The bike was always prepared from Thursday and the bike would just sit there and never be used until the event. As far as sleep goes, my Dad was always very religious about sleep. As a kid, we’d always have to be in bed by 9 or half 9. Things got more serious when I got older but I still have strict rules around sleep and, my nutrition has advanced as well.
Competing at that level must take a physical toll on your body, how important is sleep for you?
I never really went near physios; my girlfriend is one so she could look after me. If I had a crash, I’d usually walk it off or strap it up and keep going. Rest is so important as I have done damage over the years and my ankles have been broken so they can be fragile. I’d always jump into cold water as well which I found really helped my recovery.
What impact does sleep have on a daily basis?
Sleep for me has a massive impact. I find one of the biggest things it impacts is my mood! If I don’t get my sleep, I can get really cranky. In that sense, I really depend on a good night sleep for recovery, how I feel, my mood and it impacts so much of what I do.
Have you noticed a difference now since you upgraded your mattress?
Yea, it’s just a lot comfier! It’s much easier to get to sleep. I go to bed and I’m asleep in 5 minutes. I don’t think that much about it because it’s not an issue and the bed is so nice.
What advice would you give to aspiring athletes out there?
My first piece of advice would be to go and check out what grants are available because there are supports out there and it can be difficult for athletes to get sponsorship. Don’t burn yourself out, keep it fun, remember why you got into it. Because if it’s not fun, you will not progress or develop as quickly. Excess pressure won’t lead to great results whereas enjoyment will. As well as that, take a break, take one day a week away from your sport so you’re fresh mentally.