Health Podcast Post

Get Better Sleep with Michael Hildebrandt

George Grombacher March 2, 2023

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Get Better Sleep with Michael Hildebrandt

LifeBlood: We talked about how to get better sleep, the impact of sleep on overall performance, having a digital shutdown in the evening, the impact of light on our bodies, the variables that produce great sleep, and how to balance competing intrestes, with Michael Hildebrandt, Founder of Sleeptrust.  

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You can learn more about Michael at SleepTrust.EU, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Michael Hildebrandt

Michael Hildebrandt

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00

what’s up? This is George G and A time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Michael Hildebrand. Michael, are you ready to do this? Absolutely. All right, let’s go. Michael is the founder of sleep trust. They’re an organization helping hardworking business professionals reach a healthy life asleep balance. Michael, excited to have you on, tell us a little about your personal life some more about your work, why you do what you do.

Michael Hildebrandt 0:28
Okay, love to do so. So yeah, my name is Michael, thanks for the introduction, I’m 47 years of age parent of three. And I’m a high performance and sleep coach. So what I do is essentially to help people to get into a healthy work life sleep balance, so I call it 3x in their performance, but now they’re they’re like, that’s a statement that you can take mathematically, like if you follow the Kaizen method, improving your sleep or your your performance 1.25%, you’re going to three exit performance in 90 days, hard to measure, but I like to see it as three axing focusing on our work, life, and our sleep. And sleep is the core of what we do. So we really tried to get into a healthy, high quality sleep, because as Matthew Walker states, it’s not only a pillar of life, like eat, move, sleep, probably a lot of your listeners know this book. But rather, it’s the foundation. That’s what he says, like the foundation of all pillars of life. So we want to get that right before we move into the other aspects. And I love to see people flourishing. Like if I see intrapreneurs, business professionals feel better perform better, that means they’re creating more value for the world. And I feel as this little part of that, which is great. And if I see them feel better, and appreciate things in a different way, grow flourish. That’s what I strive for in my own life and do every single day, then that kind of gives me the super awesome feedback, too. So that’s what why I’m doing what I do. I love it. How are we doing? How are how are human beings doing regarding sleeping? Are we doing also like, oh my god, I would not say we’re doing awesome. Like, I think times were never more challenging than nowadays. Like even though we’re all super like, there’s the supplement market is like, endlessly exploding, and we’re all kind of into health and do fitness and all of this. But the truth is like we would rather do a little bit of fitness or even better eat a pill to stay healthy, then invest into sleep, invest into changing our habits to actually perform on a really healthy level. So tons of challenging for us. A lot of reasons for that high demands, a high expectations, higher expectations than we ever had analyzed style that is like not really supporting good sleep or health.

george grombacher 3:02
Something I was curious about recently, I was wondering to myself, I thought I wonder if animals get depressed? Do animals suffer from depression like human beings? Do? We’re probably not going to answer that question today. But do animals have sleeping problems? Are you aware? Or is this strictly a human domain that that we’re screwing ourselves up on? I will honestly admit, George, I never really dove into that topic. But I feel

Michael Hildebrandt 3:30
feel feel confident enough to say even if animals could have problems like depression or not sleeping, well, the percentage will be much, much, much lower, it’s going to be a fraction of what we see in human in our human race. So it just makes me wonder is is our sleep problems genetic? Or is the vast majority just environmental stuff we’re doing to ourselves?

The vast majority is absolutely stuff what we’re doing to ourselves like if you look at the meat, like there are certain sleep problems that are just like diseases, sleep apnea, sleep,

paralysis and all of these there are a lot of like diseases but if you look at the majority of people their sleep problems come through minds like we’re we’re constantly under high demands and that leads our minds to think in ways that are not really serving us if you look at the environment that we’ve got we’ve got electricity light, light plays a major role when it comes to our asleep like we’ve got special receptors in our eyes. Most people don’t don’t really know that that pick up on blue light specifically like and these things these informations they get pass on to our inner clock main inner clock right away. And that passes information to the pineal gland that produces melatonin right and we all know melatonin because it’s one of those pills supplements that we can easily

By and throw into our mouth. But like, if you look at what we’ve got nowadays, we turn on the light, we decide, when the light goes on, we decide when it goes off. We decide when entertainment starts when it stops, like instead of relaxing in front of a campfire, nowadays, we get entertained and watch TV, or work or do stuff that is just not in line with what nature expects us to do when the day ends. So a vast majority of problems are due to our behavior, or due to the power that we’ve got over allies, starting with electricity and all other things, entertainment, that we’ve gotten the tip of our fingers right now, which would not have been the case a couple of 100 years ago. 100 years ago, even.

george grombacher 5:48
So I’ve heard of of the danger of blue light that gets emitted from our lot of our devices. Does blue light come from light bulbs does it let me take a big step back does blue light come from fire?

Michael Hildebrandt 6:03
The action actually not fire or if you light up a candle has very low, low amounts of blue light, it’s more red light, like if you look at the fire is reddish. And you can see it doesn’t spread as much light to the outside. So it’s still dark ish around the fire, right? Which is a difference if you look at blue light. And yeah, blue light gets emitted in light bulbs typically. Nowadays, you can also buy light bulbs that have don’t have to light but typical blue light bulbs have blue light. And the same is true for TVs for mobiles. Even though like Apple has something like nightshift, they try to filter out the blue light. Yeah, that’s true. So it’s it’s in there. Yeah, sure. And I will, we’ll tap on one thing. Because a lot of people just focus on the light, especially when it comes to our little devices that we all love. Like I’m a big fan of technology. But it’s also I like to call it the entertainment trap. We entertain our brains until we hit the bed. And that’s just not healthy. We need to give our room our brain space to think about the things that are really moving us things that might make us anxious things that made me spike hope things that we might need to solve in our lives to live happy. And it’s kind of like this trap that we like to get entertained till we hit the bed and then things like then our brain has room like now we’re lying in bed, the lights are off. And then our brain gets active and thinks about these things, producing anxiety and other feelings that are not really sleep promoting.

george grombacher 7:45
So if if I if I go from if I’m either in bed, scrolling through just using my phone in some capacity or the television is on and I’m watching and turn off device turn off TV turn off light sleep time. That’s That’s it, when you say it like that it sounds obviously like a bad decision. So what is what is a better decision? And and why? How much time should I leave there?

Michael Hildebrandt 8:17
So well i in the coachings like my clients to do is something I call shutdown complete, like one hour, one hour before you go to bed, you really want to get into dimmed environment. Get rid of all of that distraction. And do things that are more promoting. You might want to meditate journal, listen to music all fun, like give your your brain space, have a conversation with your wife or your kids or a friend or good have a walk. There are a lot of things, a lot of options that we can do to give ourselves that space that we need to wind down and then go to bed.

george grombacher 8:59
And so music is okay conversation meditation. It’s a function of I need to give my brain some time to to be just worrying about what’s what’s already inside of it versus taking in new stimulation. Am I on the right track?

Michael Hildebrandt 9:21
Absolutely. George Absolutely. That that nails that because we’re kind of used to stimulate our brains. That’s what our brains kind of like, and especially for business professionals, we just need that input, right? We’re all constantly learning, taking information in thinking about things that we’re going to do. But we need to have this time the space to really be able to give our brains the wind out time like to do whatever it needs to do to process pre processed information before we fall asleep. Because when we sleep our brains are active to like it’s not as if our brains are sleeping. They’re highly active at Stages but it’s just not good if we’re stressed or, like a common trap is also like when we when we noticed this that we want to try to fall asleep. Like these, this is typically where the dilemma starts, like a lot of business professionals do not have any problems to fall asleep at some do. And typically a big trap is to go to bed then and to say, Okay, I wanna I need to sleep now I want to sleep. And sleep is a completely complex and unconscious process. So trying to, we’re used to control all kinds of things, we can do that. But when we start to try to control our sleep, then we’re in trouble. Because that’s not how it works. No good sleeper wants to sleep, we all want to rest, like they go to bed and are thankful for good night have like a good rest. And that leads to good night asleep. So there are a couple of very important things that we can do a right or wrong when it comes to the evening time of the equation. But that’s only one part like a good night’s sleep starts with a day well spent, right. And the am ritual is as important as the pm ritual. And that’s what most people don’t really get when they think about their sleep. And they really focus on the evening hour. But it’s really a lot about getting up in the right way. Like we had a little conversation before our before we started the podcast here and you share with me that you get up at a certain time every morning. That’s part of the equation, get up at one time doesn’t matter what time it is get up at the same time. We’re all creatures of habit. And we have this by rhythm and by rhythm has the rhythm in it, right. And rhythm is like boom, boom, boom, that’s the rhythm. But if you start to mix up, when you get up and go to bed, it’s like it’s not boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, bah, bah, bah, it’s confusing for our bodies. So get up at the same time, and then do the exact opposite. Get into bright light, tell your body let your body know that the day has started, drink a glass of water rehydrate, we will lose a lot of water when we sleep, get into light, move your body, these things have breakfast at the same time. That’s a timing aspect to so start your day strong. And then like, then you’re set up for a good night asleep afterwards. Like if you tie these things together, it’s AMPM. Rhythm. And that’s a very important aspect of that most people don’t focus on that I, I hope is interesting for your listeners, too, if they’re, if you’re struggling with sleep listening to this, and if that did a lot in your evenings, think about your mornings like how’s your day starting? So I’ve heard

george grombacher 12:49
about having light when, when, when when we wake up. So if I like just for me as an example, I I’m sneaking through the house quietly at four o’clock in the morning. And I’m essentially just working around in the dark, because I don’t want to disturb anybody is my body’s still thinking what is he doing? We’re not awake yet, is he going to go back to bed because the light hasn’t hit me yet.

Michael Hildebrandt 13:20
Probably kind of you’re gonna notice like how you feel right now. But at some point, you don’t have to get in too bright light when you leave the bedroom. Like I get that you probably and I wouldn’t wake anybody up here too. I get up earlier times like and I don’t wake up the entire family. But if I’m in my office, like I’m free to turn on the light and there are daytime lamps that you can just buy, or like I’ve got very light modular lights in my office that I can just ramp up and I just do that. And you you literally you will feel as soon as the light bumps up, how your body responds how your mind responds to that.

george grombacher 13:59
Got it. That’s interesting. All right. So rituals, the food and put it into my body nutrition when I’m thinking about all these things are building that bridge from the Am to the PM.

Michael Hildebrandt 14:19
Yeah, so yeah, right food is an aspect to like nutrition. I typically it’s not my main profession, but what I always like to say is, there’s one one thing I really think everybody should get right and that’s the sugar thing. Like if we talking about rhythms, we look at breakfast, like you can eat the healthy breakfast or you can like eat cereals, or, you know, very sugary and it and we were talking about rhythms. What happens if we eat sugar like it spikes up for insulin, and we’ve got the next thing that disturbs our rhythm insulin up insulin down and that can even move down to our sleep. Like if we move into sleep and our insulin levels Stop that can disturb our sleep too. So I think it’s important to keep in mind like there is no you don’t have to be perfect with your nutrition and with all other things too. But you need to be honest to yourself and take a with this information like light movement and other aspects. Take an honest observer, observe your life, honestly and think, Okay, what are the major things like the one or two things that I could improve? That’s typically how I like to start, not get, don’t get overwhelmed, don’t try to get everything perfect. It’s hard, it will not work, focus on one or two things, you know, will work or relate to you. And then start with that and see how you feel after two weeks.

george grombacher 15:45
Yeah, I think that that makes a lot of sense. I mean, when when you do take a step back, you think, okay, I know not feeling very good. So important to realize, recognize that all the things that I’m doing things and put it into my mouth, the way I’m moving my body, what I’m putting into my head, and what I’m giving my attention to are all going to have an impact, sometimes really big, sometimes smaller, but it will have some impact on my quality of sleep. And, you know, just overtime if that’s bad, it’ll get a little bit worse. Probably it’s not just going to fix itself. So everything contributes.

Michael Hildebrandt 16:24
Yeah. Yeah. Nothing to add, that was an awesome summary of the essential points.

george grombacher 16:32
Is there is it is temperature in the room is that personal preference? How do I figure that out?

Michael Hildebrandt 16:41
So generally speaking, I love to always take the big picture, like look at nature, look at nature, you cannot go wrong. If you look at nature. Two things happen when we look at the daytime nighttime cycle, which is also in sleep science called the circadian rhythm, right? So Sun goes up, and temperature goes up, right? That’s what happens at daytime. Nighttime, the opposite. And it’s so simple. But you know, sometimes the essential truths are simple. Mostly they are. So Sun Goes Down temperature drops. I know there’s a lot of people search for what’s the right temperature, my bedroom, this and that. Yeah, like you get people that even share a degrees like this is the temperature you need to have in your bedroom, which is completely stupid. Like, if you look at nature, my opinion, like in summer, they’re different temperatures than their winter, and so on. But what’s always the same is like you want to have your bedroom cooler at nighttime than it is at daytime like in some of that might be a different temperature than in winter. But keep your bedroom cool. Keep fresh air in there. So we always are I love like to sleep with the window open. That’s it like End of story window, it’s going to temperature is going to drop and I’m going to get fresh air. And if you’re not able to do that, because you don’t feel safe. Just see that your temperature is just slightly to your bedroom temperature slightly cooler than the other rooms.

george grombacher 18:03
That makes a lot of sense. In terms of the equipment, how do I know if my mattress is good? Or my pillow is good? Am I is that is how important is that?

Michael Hildebrandt 18:14
Yeah, quite important. So you want to feel like if you get up every every day and your your back hurts, your spine hurts, your neck hurts, then you should definitely go to an expert and check that out and get a mattress that works for you. Where your body sinks in at the right. Like depending on if you sleep on your back or on your side, like where it sinks in that your spine kind of stays straight. Get the right pillow and good pillow, you know that all that feels comfortable? Because otherwise that’s just going to be horrible over time, right?

george grombacher 18:50
Yeah, it’s funny. I don’t know what the statistics are. But I imagine that this is me, I think I went for so many years, but just the same pillow. And, you know, think that if you’ve got the wrong one, it’s just an easy thing to kind of hold on to for for way too long. So anyway, enough about my pillow. Michael, I appreciate that. Appreciate you coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they how can they improve their sleep?

Michael Hildebrandt 19:20
So the the easiest way is actually to check out sleep Or even better to follow me on Instagram. So it’s at sleep trust and you’re gonna gonna find me and just reach out like hello at sleep or on the website you can download the PTS system that I’ve got like it’s an unclear steps to move people to good sleep primarily, but also 3x in their performance, like that’s my passion. I want to see people flourish, sleep the most important part but all other aspects move in there to like get our life right and get our work. Let’s really crush it at work. So that’s where you can find that. And yeah, I would be happy. Obviously, you know if that resonates to you to help you out if you have any questions, just drop them and I typically come back to every single person that reached out to me sometimes might take a day or two, but are you getting a reply?

george grombacher 20:19
Excellent. Well, if you just as much as I did show, Michael, your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to sleep And check out all the great resources Michael’s provided, you can download the nine step system to get more done and more good, more energy, feel better, and just increase your performance in every area. And you can find him on Instagram as well. It’s at sleep trust, and I’ll link all those in the notes of the show. Thanks again, Michael.

Michael Hildebrandt 20:52
Thank you for having me.

george grombacher 20:54
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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