14 Sleep Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Made

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in April of 2020.  For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbHYpH0xWOg

Bob: Today we are going to talk about 14 sleep mistakes you didn’t know you made. 

Brad: 14!

Bob: Yes, I like that number Brad, that’s double your seven. I feel like I’m twice as good as you. 

Brad: Wow, well then you are really flying high Bob. 

Bob: All right, well Brad apparently doesn’t have any of these sleep mistakes going on. So, let’s start off with #1 you’re not sleeping enough. That’s a common mistake. People think they can get by on eight hours or less. The fact is most people need eight and a half hours. I know people that say they can get by on five or six hours. It’s really rare to find someone, they say one out of a thousand people, can get by on five to six hours without damaging their brain, their cardiovascular system. It’s going to cause you to gain weight. I mean all these things. There’s a lot of side effects from not getting enough sleep. 

Brad: Exactly right, Bob. 

Bob: #2 you don’t stick to a sleep schedule. From what I have read, this is the most effective way, if you’re having problems with sleep, is to stick to a sleep schedule. So that means even on the weekends, Brad. 

Brad: Ohhhh, you know, you want to stay up and watch a late movie. 

Bob: Nope, you need to stick to your schedule.

Brad: Yep, I usually go to bed 9:30-10:00, but Saturday night, I’m guilty. I might stay up until 11.

Bob: Oh boy, you’re a partier, aren’t you? I tend to try to stay with a variation, half hour to an hour.

#3 – you exercise too late. Like 2-3 hours before bedtime, you should not exercise. It can get your system all riled up. I remember I used to play basketball late, on a basketball league, and we’d have late games like at 9:00. I’d get home and I wouldn’t be able to sleep for hours. My adrenaline was flowing you know. 

Brad: Right, it takes a while for everything to settle down from that. 

Bob: Ramp down again.

#4 caffeine and nicotine. You’d think this is very obvious to people but I don’t think they realize how long it stays in your system. You really shouldn’t have any of these eight hours before bed.

Brad: 8 HOURS!? So, you can still have a cup of coffee for lunch if you go to bed by nine. 

Bob: Right, right, but this was a big surprise to me. As you age, and get older, it affects you more obviously, as everything seems to. 

Brad: Yeah, the aging process is no fun.

Bob: No, it isn’t. But I remember the first time this happened to me, Brad. I’m like, every time I’d go home and visit my parents, I couldn’t fall asleep. I was like, just because it’s my old bedroom? Why couldn’t I sleep in it? 

Brad: Well, who knows what you were doing when you were a kid. Bad memories! 

Bob: Well, what happened Brad, is when I’d go home, we’d play cards at night. I would be drinking beer, but I’d also drink some pop later at night, and it had caffeine. 

Brad: So, alcohol and caffeine, no wonder you couldn’t sleep. 

Bob: An it never bothered me when I was younger. I was like, I could drink it right till I went to bed. That brings us to #5 you want to avoid alcoholic drinks right before bed too. So, I do like to have one drink at night now, Brad. That doesn’t seem to affect me. It’s true it can actually affect your breathing even, if you drink too much. My brother, he always says that the only times he snores is when he drinks a lot. 

Brad: Right, well, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t drink Bob, you know. 

Bob: #6 Avoid large meals and excessive fluids right before you go to bed. The fluids of course are going to cause you to have to get up and go to the bathroom a lot. How many times do you get up at night Brad, right now? 

Brad: Usually, just once. 

Bob: Yeah, me too, it’s just once. I do drink water before I go to bed too. You can get some indigestion if you eat too close to bedtime, so you want to make sure to watch that too.

#7 There are medications that can delay or disrupt your sleep so you have to check with your doctor on that. Some of the prescribed heart medicines, blood pressure, asthma, you know, even the over counter colds, coughs, and allergy medications can affect it. 

Brad: Yeah, so get on your schedule with your meds, and stick to it, don’t forget. 

Bob: Yes, in other words, a lot of meds you maybe don’t have to take, or you can take earlier in the day, so check with your doctor. 

Brad: I think that they have apps on your phone that can remind you too.

Bob:  #8 Don’t take a nap after 3:00. You hear that a lot of times. We see this in the nursing homes we work in a lot. People sleep all day long and then they can’t figure out why they can’t sleep at night. 

Brad: People can get their nights and days flipped around. 

Bob: Sun downers, right, isn’t that what you call them?

#9 Make sure you have some time for relaxation before you go to bed, don’t schedule things until right before you go to sleep. I’ve done this Brad, where I knew I was going to be busy the next day, and I was working on something almost right until I went to bed. You’re all fired up, and you know, you want to have some down time. Do something that’s relaxing, reading or watching TV, whatever it involves. 

Brad: Right, my wife gives me a massage. 

Bob: She does not.

Brad: Well, she did when we were dating. 

Bob: Oh, I was going to say, she doesn’t now. That would be a real find. 

#10 Take a hot bath before bed. What happens is once you get out of the bath, it cools down your core temperature, and your core temperature needs to decrease by 2-3 degrees Fahrenheit in order to sleep well. That’s why we tell you to keep the temperature in your rooms down. Which is #11 Keep your bedroom temperature around 65 degrees. There’s some variation there depending on the individual. You want to keep your bedroom dark and cool as we mentioned, gadget free. I found this one to be interesting Brad, you know, for years, we always had the hallway light on because the kids could get up. Lately, we’ve been turning it off, and I do sleep better. I mean it’s dark. 

Brad: We’ve got that same scenario right now. The night light in the hallway is on, and I’m telling my wife, we have to turn it off, it’s hampering my sleep after I get up and use the bathroom. But we have a little dog that’s blind kind of in one eye. My wife is afraid the dog is going to fall down the steps without the night light. 

Bob: That’s possible. 

Brad: So my sleep is being sacrificed for my dog. It’s all right though, I’m willing to put up with it. 

Bob: All right, what a man. By the way, my niece, one day, she was staying with my mom and dad, and she fell down the steps in the middle of the night. 

Brad: HUH!?

Bob: Yeah, she was sleep walking, and she wasn’t used to having stairs.

Brad: Did she have a night light? 

Bob: My mom did have a night light on, but I think she was sleep walking, and she fell right down, and these are steep steps.

Brad: Is she okay? 

Bob: She’s fine, she’s older now. 

Brad: She didn’t have the Booyah Stik. 

Bob: LOL, the Booyah Stik.

All right #12 You want to actually expose yourself to some sunlight during the day. That helps set your circadian rhythm if you can get 30 minutes of sunlight. That’s tough in Minnesota sometimes, and Wisconsin. 

Brad: Yeah, just think about the people up North, you know, Alaska. 

Bob: Up north, yeah.

All right, #13 Don’t lie in bed awake. After 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing, like reading. Brad and I always recommend that you try some deep breathing, like the 4-7-8 breathing method. That’s what I do when I can’t sleep. It gives me something to focus on, and it seems like it does relax me. I found out I’m doing shallow breathing because I’m up worried or upset about something. 

Bob: #14 If your mattress is uncomfortable, you’re not going to sleep well, right? We love our mattresses, right Brad. We both have a SleepOvation mattress. So, I know we’re putting a little plugin there, but it’s true. They found that the mattresses that are not totally firm, but medium firm are the best for sleeping, for people who are in pain. Did you know that? 

Brad: Yeah, actually, I did. 

Bob: We did videos on it.

Brad: LOL, but actually you know, it’s so incredible because that’s what mine is. Before I had a firmer mattress, and then we put a two-inch memory thing on top, and that was better, but now my back feels so much better, I’m so happy with my SleepOvation mattress. 

Bob: All right, remember Brad and I can fix just about anything,

Brad: Except for,

Bob: A broken heart, but we’re working day and night, now that we have a lot of time.

Brad: LOL, yeah, and then with the sleeping thing. That might help a little bit, get your sleep, eight hours, eight and a half hours. 

Bob: Yeah, that always helps the cardiac arena, so. 

Brad: All right, well, we’re done. 

Bob: Peace out!

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