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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5mVaYMQNS0&t=39s
Bob: Today we’re going to show you one surprising trick to fall asleep faster and to stay asleep. This is good for even insomniacs.
Brad: So, let’s talk about the sleeping and temperature relationship. We were just having a detailed discussion on it and we’ll carry through with it.
Bob: The trick is, if you want to sleep better, faster, and longer, you want to reduce your core temperature by two to three degrees Fahrenheit. So, how do we do that? First off, why do we do that? When the core temperature drops, your melatonin production increases, which helps you sleep. That’s going to help you promote your sleep; it’s all-natural chemicals.
Brad: I know we had the heat up in our house the other night, I don’t remember why we went up to 72 degrees, and I woke up that night about midnight and I was like, oh I’m warm. It’s like, I feel toasty warm, but I can't sleep. So, I checked the temperature and I turned it down, of course it takes a while for the house to cool.
Bob: Actually, I’ve seen it in hotel rooms sometimes, if it’s been too warm or just on a hot summer night.
Brad: Yeah, tossing and turning.
Bob: You have to get that core temperature down. So, your body helps decrease the core temperature by shunting blood to three areas. It shunts blood out to your hands, your feet, and your head.
Brad: So, then the blood from there goes through your body, it’s like a heat exchanger. It’s going to get rid of that heat to your hands and feet.
Bob: Right, right. So, I’m going to have you do two things to try to reduce your core temperature. First, the simple one is to keep your room temperature down. And I looked for all the recommendations. I saw recommendations anywhere from 67 degrees down to 60 degrees. The average, the one that was mentioned the most, and the research seemed to show was 65 degrees. Which, I don’t know, how is that compared to you?
Brad: Well, that’d be a little on the cool side, but again, I think it’s individual. It depends how many blankets, there’s some variables in there.
Bob: Right, yeah, you’re going top want to use more blankets. The second thing you want to do, you want to actually increase the vasodilation of your hands and feet. Now this didn’t make sense to me at first. In other words, you want to keep your feet and hands warm, and even your head possibly too.
Brad: So, the circulation is really flowing well.
Bob: Right. So there’s plenty of circulation there. It makes it easier to shunt the blood from the core then. If you want to take it down to its very basics here, basically keep your hands and feet warm at night. That’s going to decrease your core temperature. So, you can wear gloves, they even recommended, you can wear a hat to bed. Because again, a lot of vascularity up in the head. You could wear extra socks. Some people take a bath and soak their feet and hands before they go to bed.
Brad: To get them warm.
Bob: Yes, to get ‘em warm. We got our little hand warmer here.
Brad: I’m using mine right now; it feels really nice. I mean, I wouldn’t mind going to bed with this, if my hands were cold.
Bob: What I do is, this might sound a little upsetting, but I just stick my hands down my pants and put it right on the side of my thigh. I put the other hand underneath my face. I’ve done this for years because my hands get so cold. Just to prove that this actually is very helpful, I saw a couple studies, warming the hands and feet by one-degree Fahrenheit. That’s all they did. They used a suit to do this, to measure how much they warmed. They found people fell asleep 18-20% faster, in two different studies. The other thing is, if you didn’t warm your hands, 58% would wake up the last half of the night. But if they do warm their hands, only 4% woke up.
Bob: That’s a big change.
Brad: They kept their hands warm all night.
Bob: Right, they kept their hands warm all night and they were a lot less likely to wake up.
Brad: Which is probably, for me, the most disturbing. Waking up at that two or three in the morning, and then you can’t get back to sleep. It just happened the other night.
Bob: And it’s not good quality sleep then. And you are in a deficit all day long. And I’m reading an entire book on this. Believe it or not, I’m reading an entire book. It’s amazing how important sleep is, I mean, it just, they’re even finding it can affect dementia and it just goes on and on. Your concentration, your ability to learn.
Brad: Did you read the introduction?
Brad: Well I don’t know, just wondering. You said the entire book.
Bob: Oh, no, I’m reading the entire book, I’m not there yet though. All right anyways, so put that tip to work and see if it works for you.
Brad: There you go, good luck and sleep well.
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