This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in January of 2020. For the original video go to https://youtu.be/547ui_sIC9Q.
Bob: Today we’re going to talk about how to fall asleep fast. We have 12 tricks to sleep all night like a baby.
Brad: We have 12 tips, you may not use all of them, but use a combination of them you can use.
Bob: Yeah, choose from them. Figure out which ones work for you, it’s kind of like an experiment.
Brad: We are all individuals, Bob.
Bob: That’s right. All right, Brad. What are the best ones for you?
Brad: Well, Bob, let’s just start at the top. I’ll mention as we go.
Bob: Okay, we’ll start at the top.
Brad: This is a common one I think everyone may not do but will probably agree with. Just slow down and relax your breathing. In your nose, out your mouth.
Bob: I think a lot of people don’t know this one, Brad.
Brad: Perhaps not, but slow things down. Breathe in your nose, exhale out your mouth, fill your lungs and instead of holding your tummy in, you’re going to do the diaphragmatic breathing where your relax and let your belly expand and breath out that way.
Bob: I have found this to be very helpful if I’m worried about something. If like I’m ruminating, the breathing just slows my thinking down and it slows my breathing down. I like the four square, where you breathe in for four second, hold for four seconds, then breathe out for four seconds, then hold for four more seconds. Makes the square. It does help me, I concentrate on the breathing instead of the problem. You do it enough times and suddenly, you’re sleeping. You wake up in the morning and go, “Oh, that worked.”
Brad: The other one, and some of these you can combine, this is one we use in our bedroom is white noise. We just have a fan going but there’s apps for your phone. Our grandkids have these little ones, it just does the little trickling of water, probably make them pee their pants. But they also have a little thing that goes on the ceiling, and it shows stars and things moving around.
Bob: Oh, it’s a separate machine.
Brad: No, it’s all the same machine. It does the noise and makes the stuff on the ceiling.
Bob: Sure, projects a little thing on the ceiling.
Brad: Yeah, and you can have different projections like stars.
Bob: So, this is probably more for and infant or something like that?
Brad: Yeah, but I like it too. Yeah, it’s made for kids.
Bob: See what I mean?
Brad: Room temperature. Now last night, we had it up to 72 degrees in our house.
Bob: That’s too hot.
Brad: I don’t know why we had it there, it’s too hot. I woke up in the morning, I slept well but I could tell it was too warm. Get it down to about 68 or 65 even.
Bob: 65 was the agreed upon temperature. I just saw the studies on this, and this is the one that was universally accepted. You could go lower, but it’s not only going to help you get to sleep faster, but it’s going to help you stay asleep. If you’re waking up at 4 A.M., it may be because your room is too hot.
Brad: Or if I put my arm outside the pillows, then I have a frozen arm.
Bob: Right, but that’s how you’re trying to dissipate the heat from your body.
Brad: Anyways, or 18 degrees Celsius for those people outside of the U.S. We still have that Fahrenheit thing here. Proper pillow size. We can go through this briefly. A lot of people use a thick pillow or two pillows. His neck is up at and angle. It’s Restricts your breathing, puts stress on the neck, on your spine. You should be down to on narrow pillow.
Bob: Keep everything in alignment. Now, my spine is in a line.
Brad: There you go. If you’re a side sleeper, then you want a thicker pillow because you want to fill in the gap that your shoulder makes.
Bob: Otherwise, my neck will be stretching all night.
Brad: Yep. So there, you might want to have another one. You can fold one pillow in half if that works. Make sure that you have proper pillow spaces for you neck alignment. The next one, we’re going to do the pillow between the legs.
Bob: So, I’m sleeping on my side. I must do this because I’ve been having some trouble with my hip as I’ve been crying about for 20 videos now. If I don’t have the pillow, look how to hip is straining. Now this may seem minor but when you get old, this stuff matters.
Brad: Yeah, this is more of an older person thing but not always.
Bob: It’s also twisting my back a little bit. So, if you want to put your back in perfect alignment, and the hip in perfect alignment and even the knees feel a lot better. Not clanking up against each other. You just put a pillow between the legs. Now, I find a pillow during the winter is fine, buy during the summer it’s too warm, so I use a smaller one that is designed for this. You can buy them online.
Brad: You've got a knee pillow.
Bob: I have a knee pillow.
Brad: Well, let’s go onto the next one, Bob. Now if you happen to have some back issues, knee, or hip pain, often, this is a leg wedge. Now we don’t like to have you go and buy stuff, but we have not found anything to replicate this, and these are not that expensive. Again, hip, knee, or back issues often people find this much more comfortable.
Bob: If you try to use pillows, it’s just not enough. You’d need like three pillows, and it still doesn’t feel like this does.
Brad: This is kind of firm but not hard. The angle here, puts your pelvis in the right position and your knees. I know with my back, I’ve got spinal stenosis and if I overdo it, like outside doing yard work, I know I did it, I’ll sleep like this for about the first two hours and I’m so relaxed, my back feels better, and then I’ll usually kick it out on the floor.
Bob: I wish it was a little longer though, Brad.
Brad: They do make longer ones, Bob. I saw that. For the taller people.
Bob: Oh, finally. They discriminate again us, you realize that don’t you?
Brad: I know, Bob. Anyways, let’s go onto the next one, Bob. Number seven, I like the number seven.
Bob: Yeah, I know you do.
Brad: Caffeine. Don’t drink caffeine before you go to bed. Even a couple hours before.
Bob: It’s from like one o’clock on, Brad.
Brad: Oh really?
Bob: I mean, there’s a half-life of it and it’s probably still affecting you. So, not in the afternoon at all. You must stop.
Brad: It kind of depends on when you go to bed though.
Bob: It does. If you go to bed at a normal time.
Brad: So, if you’re like a nine, 10 o’clock person.
Bob: I would say, yes.
Brad: Then of course that goes along with alcohol too. I guess you shouldn’t be drinking a beer or something before you go to bed.
Bob: I think one is fine, but you drink too many, you know, it’s going to have that effect, you get to sleep but you’re not getting deep sleep.
Brad: And then you must get up and go to the bathroom more and all those things. Be reasonable with that. I think everyone could have good judgement on that. This next one is something a lot of people probably aren’t aware of. It’s the contract relax mechanisms, or relaxing muscles. If you take a muscle and you contract it as tight as you can for about six seconds.
Bob: We’re tightening it without moving it.
Brad: Right. Isometric. Then you relax it, the muscle will relax very effective and efficiently. We’re not just going to do the bicep or the neck.
Bob: They go all the way through the body.
Brad: Yeah. Or the upper extremities too. I think you can do whatever works if you don’t cramp. If you’re one of those people that cramp.
Bob: You could start with your feet. Your calves and then do the knees.
Brad: A section at a time.
Bob: It’s that thing that is taking your mind off the thing that might be keeping you awake. It’s giving you something else to focus on. It’s relaxing everything, you know, the entire body. A lot of times you’ll find out that maybe you were clenching one part of the body because you’re upset about something.
Brad: Without being aware of it.
Bob: Working with Brad Heinick, oh, it just gets me so upset. (LOL)
Brad: Well, yes. My wife tells me about that, too. I’m working on it. The whole upper body thing, it’s a little quicker clench and relax.
Bob: Sure, you can tighten that stuff. I’m just picturing this now. Your wife lying next to you, and she’s all scrunched up and Brad’s just sleeping.
Brad: She’s trying to relax after putting up with me for the day. Well, weekends are also tough on her.
Bob: Yeah, a full weekend. All right, we need to move on. Number ten. Be still with the dark room. Dark room makes a big difference. Your body creates melatonin, if it’s during the sunlight it’s thinking that it’s supposed to wake up. During the night when it’s dark, it’s teaching your body to sleep. Your circadian rhythms.
Brad: You hit every nail on the head there. The next one, if you’re an animal person, having a cat or a dog in bed with you or you know, somewhere where you can do that, that’s very relaxing. My wife is a real dog lover and I’m not a dog hater, I like the dog there, but if it was me, I would maybe move the dog.
Bob: I’m going to say, our cat we don’t have it anymore, but when we had the cat, it would start meowing before we got up.
Brad: Well, that cat had issues, Bob.
Bob: Yeah, that cat did have issues.
Brad: Anyways, for a lot of people, that can be a real relaxing thing for sleep. You know if you are or not. This next one, I didn’t know about this until a couple years ago. No blue light.
Bob: Looking at a computer before you go to bed.
Brad: Well, looking at your phone too.
Bob: That blue light is, what is it?
Bob: It’s the same thing, it does the same thing as sunlight. It makes you think that you’re supposed to be waking up. It could throw off your circadian rhythms and it does not help you. Especially if you do it every night like an hour before. It could mess you up and that’s why you might be having trouble sleeping.
Brad: Those sarcadian rhythms.
Bob: Circadian not sarcadian.
Brad: Circadian, they kill me all these pop buzz word things that come up from year to year. Anyways, good luck with your sleeping. I’m sure you’re going to find some more useful tips in here.
Bob: Yeah, sleep well. Sleep tight. Thanks.
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