Better Sleep Case Study: Francois Louw

francois louw

Bath’s hard-hitting back rower Francois Louw talks to Mammoth about targeting the league play-offs, reading a good book before bed and spinal injuries.

Francois Louw is a familiar face in the Aviva Premiership, having played for Bath Rugby since 2011. Originally from Cape Town, the Springbok back rower is renowned for being a fearsome tackler and a menace at the breakdown.

At 6ft 4in and over 17st, Francois is an imposing figure but away from the rugby pitch he is known for being a laid-back and sociable guy. With two children to chase around, switching off from rugby isn’t hard for him.

Asked about his typical training regime, Francois says:

“I am fairly relaxed with my approach. I get in and do strength and conditioning in the mornings with a team session in the afternoon. Once training is out of the way I try to completely switch off by hanging out with my kids and friends. I think it’s very important to have that balance.”

Currently, Francois is recovering from injury and is working hard on rehab to ensure that he can be back fit and out on the pitch to help steer Bath towards a successful end to the season. He says, “Ultimately, we are trying to make the Premiership play-offs and I want to do everything I can to help make that happen.”

As anyone who follows rugby will know, injury is part and parcel of the modern game. And this makes it all the more important that elite athletes like Francois place as much emphasis on resting and nourishing the body as they do training. Yet the reality of family life can make this tricky as Francois admits:

“Unfortunately, the luxury of optimum sleep has passed me by. My nights are dictated by the kids to a large extent. Generally, if I can get at least 7 hours I’ll be fine but hoping for more than that isn’t all that realistic.

“In many ways this makes it even more important that the time I spend asleep is of the highest quality, and that’s why I took the time to look for the best mattress out there when my old model began to get lumpy and uncomfortable. When the comfort drops and sleep suffers I think you just feel like you are one step behind the whole time with any task you’re attempting. Not really ideal when you are pushing for results on a daily basis.”

He continues:

“I found out about Mammoth through the RPA and I decided to go and test the range at my local bed retailer TR Hayes. With the help of the team there I chose the Super King Pocket 2000, which suits me perfectly. It’s good quality, firm and has technologies that support my needs.

“Rugby is a highly physical and mentally demanding sport that I need to be up for every day. My Mammoth gives me the perfect night’s sleep to keep me firing as a professional sportsman.”

With a long list of injuries to his name over the years, including spine, back and neck problems, choosing a mattress offering superior pressure relief and support is of particular importance to Francois: “Some of my old injuries can still niggle me and it’s not uncommon for them to flare up over night. Sleeping on a surface that minimises these problems and helps me to get out of bed fresh in the morning is a huge bonus.”

And what about Francois’ bedtime routine?

“I love my kindle and like having a read of a good book on it to wind down before bed. The bedroom should be fresh and clean but I tend to like it warm and cosy under a good duvet.”

Francois Louw bought a Super King Performance Pocket 2000 from TR Hayes in Bath.